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WBZ

BILLERICA (WBZ) ― The Shawsheen Valley Vocational Technical High School in Billerica was locked down Friday so police could search the complex for a weapon.

What Happened?

Authorities locked students inside their classrooms around 11:30 a.m. after they received information that there was a gun inside the school.

Police said nothing was found, but they have now expanded their search for a weapon outside the school, possibly to some homes.

Based on information they have received, they believe someone may have a gun, but it is not at the school.

There were reports that ammunition was found, but investigators dismissed that as a rumor.

Parents Frustrated

Several parents were frustrated by the lack of information being provided during the lockdown, which ended around 2 p.m.

They told WBZ they had received an automated phone call from police, informing them of the situation, but the call did not provide any specifics. Many rushed to the school to find out more, even though the police call requested that they stay away.

No one was hurt. Students were kept in their classrooms as a precaution. They were not allowed to go to their lockers. Some texted their parents hoping to find out more information.

All students were required to pass through a metal detector before they were allowed to leave for the day.

At one point, investigators searched a white van in the school's parking lot. A red SUV was parked next to it with a door open. It's not clear yet what role, if any, the vehicles had in the lockdown.

By the end of the day, all school lockers were searched, though nothing turning up. A bomb-sniffing dog was also brought in to investigate but didn't find anything.

All after-school activities were cancelled, but the school's football game will be held as scheduled Saturday.

http://wbztv.com/local/school.lockdown.Shawsheen.2.847996.html
 

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BILLERICA -- There was a break-in at a Wilmington home. Several guns were stolen, and sometime Friday morning, police learned that students from Shawsheen Valley Technical High School were involved.
About 11 a.m., the school went into lockdown. Police searched the building thoroughly, but found nothing.
Last night, police and Shawsheen Tech Superintendent Charles Lyons announced that all the guns that were the cause for concern were recovered, and all those involved identified.
In a joint statement with Billerica Police Chief Daniel Rosa, Lyons predicted a normal day at school today.
"Although students may notice an increased security presence on Monday morning, we anticipate a normal school day," the men said in a statement. Lyons, reached last night, said there will be counseling available and a beefed-up security presence at school, but no other steps.
Wilmington Deputy Police Chief Robert Richter said not all of those involved in the case had a connection with Shawsheen, though he did not identify those involved since no charges have been filed.
Police will meet with officials from District Attorney Gerard Leone's office today to discuss charges.
Lyons said the Shawsheen students who were involved have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.
"They will not be in school," he said.
Wilmington Deputy Police Chief Robert Richter said the investigation remained in high gear last night, so neither he nor Billerica police, would release details about the break-in or the ongoing criminal investigation. The investigators' main goal, though, was to make sure the guns were in safe hands, and that the school would be safe. That was accomplished.
"As of this moment we haven't arrested anyone," Richter said. "Our main focus this weekend was making sure we recovered all the firearms."
That is what led Rosa and Lyons to issue their statement.
"The steps we took were precautionary, and done because student safety comes first," Lyons said. "We believe, based upon all the work that's been done, that our students are going to be very safe."
Brian Tirrell, whose wife Vicky was among the parents who waited anxiously outside the school on Friday, said he has no qualms about sending his daughter back this morning.
He said the family was notified of the news by telephone.
"I think they'll be fine," Tirrell said.
During the search of the school on Friday, and a subsequent search yesterday afternoon, no guns or ammunition was found in the school, police said. Police did not release the location where the guns were eventually found.
Lyons spoke highly of the school's close relationship with police.
"On Friday, the students behaved maturely, and the teachers were complete professionals," he said. "I've never been prouder of both groups."
Shawsheen Tech is located in Billerica, and is home to more than 1,200 students from Billerica, Wilmington, Tewksbury, Burlington and Bedford.
LOWELL SUN
 

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WILMINGTON -- The veteran police officer at the center of a widely publicized gun theft has agreed to leave the Wilmington Police Department, Town Manager Michael Caira announced on Friday.
Officer Steven Larivee, 51, will retire on Nov. 30, after 25 years on the Wilmington police force.
Larivee was leasing a vacant Woburn Street home in which he kept an arsenal of weapons, including rifles, handguns, knives and arrows. Police say a group of Shawsheen Technical High School students repeatedly broke into the house and walked off with various firearms.
The theft led to a dramatic lockdown at Shawsheen Tech on Oct. 24.
The Wilmington Police Department and the Middlesex District Attorney's office are still investigating whether Larivee stored the weapons improperly.
Caira said Larivee's departure is not related to what the investigation's outcome may be.
"It's because of what took place and my feeling that the community would be best served by this end result," he said. "I'm not suggesting that there was anything illegal, but it was certainly inappropriate."
LOWELL SUN
 
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