Police responded to report of an individual with a long gun who was hiding in the bathroom of Benjamin Hall at St. John's Preparatory High School in Danvers shortly before 2 p.m. on Monday, May 22, according to town officials. Officers believed the individual intended to harm students.
As three officers entered the first-floor bathroom, one placed his finger on the trigger of his gun and that a second piece of equipment "interfered with the holstering process." This resulted in a single shot being fired and striking a bathroom tile, officials said.
This ultimately caused people inside the building to call 911 and report that a shot was fired, leading to an evacuation of the campus. There were no students or faculty inside or near the bathroom at the time, so no one was hurt.
"Everyone is safe, there have been no injuries and police are currently clearing campus buildings as we account for all students," St. John's said in statement posted to their website.
Students were eventually dismissed and classes were canceled the following day. The officer who fired the shot was identified as 11-year-veteran Detective Christoper Gaffney, officials said.
"We recognize that Monday's events at St. John's Prep caused a significant amount of fear and angst for not only those present at the Prep that day, but also a broader community," officials said.
"We are confident that we can take the lessons learned from these events and work together to effect change that will further ensure the safety of our schools and community."
Danvers Police are still investigating the incident and plan on requesting a review from the Essex County District Attorney's Office.
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