PAWTUCKET — In the end, there was no gun, but a student's telling a teacher that another student indicated he might have such a weapon resulted in a lockdown at Slater Junior High School on Tuesday morning, police said.
According to Pawtucket Police Capt. John Seebeck, two juvenile males who attend Slater Junior High had gotten into a verbal altercation outside of the McDonald's restaurant on Lonsdale Avenue prior to the start of school.
During his second period class, one of the boys told his teacher about the incident and said that the older brother of the boy he had been arguing with had pointed his finger at him during the dispute and the boy himself had made a gesture that he was holding something at his waist.
Out of an abundance of caution, school administrators called in police and placed the school in a lockdown mode at around 9:30 a.m., he said.
Seebeck said that the boy's older brother, who is a student at Shea High School, was contacted by police for questioning. The young man had been ejected from school that day for an unrelated disciplinary action and police found him at his home on Harrison Street. Seebeck said the older male and his family were cooperative and allowed police access to the house. No gun was found, he said.
Seebeck said the older male told police he had escorted his brother to school at Slater that morning in order to avoid a fight breaking out between the two younger boys.
No actual gun was ever seen and no charges were filed against anyone involved in the incident, Seebeck said. He said that police officers had responded quickly to both schools and that all of the proper protocol had been followed by both school officials and the police.
Pawtucket Schools Superintendent Deborah Cylke said that the lockdown, of the type where students are instructed to stay inside their classrooms and no one is allowed in or out of the building, was kept in place until police located the boy's brother and determined there was no weapon.
She said the lockdown was later lifted after about one hour and normal activities were allowed to resume at Slater Junior High.
Despite some earlier news reports, there was no lockdown called for at Shea High School, she added.