BARRE - A loaded gun magazine was found Monday at a ballfield at Quabbin Regional Middle-High School, and the school was in lockdown while police searched the school grounds.

The shelter-in-place order for students and staff was lifted in late morning.

The magazine, which had seven or eight bullets in it, was found about 7:30 a.m. on a bench in a dugout at a softball field behind the school. The school was locked down 10 or 15 minutes later to allow police to investigate. Local and state police, including three canine teams, searched the grounds but did not find a weapon or any other magazines or ammunition, Police Chief John F. Carbone said at a news briefing after the school closed for the day.

A school maintenance staffer found the gun magazine in the dugout, according to Superintendent Maureen Marshall, who issued a districtwide phone message at about 9 a.m. School and police officials interchangeably referred to the item as a gun magazine or gun clip. Chief Carbone said the magazine was for a .380 Sig Sauer handgun, which he described as a small, easily concealable handgun.

Quabbin Regional High School Principal Gregory Devine, who at the news conference along with Middle School Principal Susanne Musnicki, said the magazine was not traceable to a specific handgun because it was not marked with any sort of identification number. 

Mr. Devine said students remained in their classrooms and teachers conducted educational activities while the shelter-in-place order remained in effect. All student backpacks were searched and the search of the school grounds outside was extensive, he said.

Police from several agencies, including the state police, took part in the search of the school grounds. Police tracking dogs were used. There were no surveillance cameras at the softball field, but police are expected to review video footage from the school parking lots to see who was at the school over the weekend. Mr. Devine said it is not unusual for area residents to use the school grounds for exercise after school hours. The last time the school formally used the field was Thursday.

A similar incident occurred at the school several years ago. Mr. Devine said he could not recall if there were any arrests made.

Chief Carbone said the department's school resource officer will continue investigating the source of the magazine on Tuesday.

Kim Ring of the Telegram & Gazette staff contributed to this report.

 


After a thorough search of the buildings, grounds, student backpacks, etc., which revealed no findings, the Shelter-In-Place has been lifted at the MS/HS. Thank you to the local and state police as well as the QRSD administrators for their diligence in keeping our students safe.


— Super QRSD (@SuperQRSD) May 14, 2018//
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The MS/HS is currently in a Shelter-In-Place. A member of the grounds crew found a loaded gun clip in the softball dugout. Both the Barre and State Police are on scene. While no firearm was found, the police are preparing to conduct a full search of the school campus.


— Super QRSD (@SuperQRSD) May 14, 2018//
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