MANCHESTER, N.H. — A 21-year-old former student was arrested Thursday after he showed up in a high school classroom with what turned out to be a pellet gun in his waistband, causing a 90-minute lockdown, police said.

Damian Johnson entered a front door at Manchester High School West as students arrived for the start of classes about 8 a.m., police said. A female student who saw the gun reported it to a school resource officer, prompting the lockdown.

Police Chief David Mara said Johnson was apprehended without a struggle in a small classroom occupied by several students. He also had a knife but did not display it, Mara said.

“At no time did he make any threat, act out or act violently,” Mara said.

Johnson was charged with a felony count of falsifying physical evidence and misdemeanor counts of criminal trespassing, disturbing school in session and violation of probation. He will remain in custody overnight and be arraigned Friday.

Manchester Police Sgt. Brian O’Keefe said Johnson was convicted in 2011 of stalking and two counts of simple assault, and in 2012 of unarmed robbery. O’Keefe also said Johnson was wanted on a fugitive warrant out of Florida but that he didn’t know what the charge was.

It was not immediately known why Johnson went to the school or how long he had been a student there.

Numerous police cruisers and state police and Manchester SWAT teams responded to the scene. Streets around the school were blocked off and parents waited in cars for news.

“It was really pretty scary,” said Eric Chace, a 15-year-old sophomore who was in a locked classroom. “We were all texting our friends and our parents.” He said students were told to go into a back corner, where there were no windows. “I was thinking, ‘Would I survive?’ “


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