A Westbrook teenager was arrested Thursday for bringing a stolen handgun to school.

A Westbrook High School student notified school staff at about 10 a.m. that a classmate had a gun on school grounds, according to Superintendent Peter Lancia.

Westbrook High School John Patriquin/Staff Photographer, file

While a school resource officer and administrator pulled the classmate from class, staff placed the rest of the school in a “lockout,” meaning all classrooms were closed, locked and secured.

Lancia said in an interview Thursday night that the lockout lasted about 45 minutes. “The situation was rectified pretty quickly,” he said. “We just wanted to make sure the school was safe and secure.”

The superintendent said the student who brought the gun – a 14-year-old boy whose name has not been released – was interviewed by police but he personally did not speak to him.

Lancia said he did not have any information on why the student brought the gun to school, but said it was unloaded and no ammunition was found.


Police Chief Sean Lally said in a statement that the boy’s parents were notified of the incident and he was transported to the Westbrook Police Department to be interviewed by investigators. The boy was then charged with theft of a firearm and terrorizing.

It’s not clear who the gun was stolen from.

Lancia said he was not aware of any online threats preceding the incident and said he could not say how the school might discipline the student. “I really can’t go into that except to say we are looking at what our policies are for these kinds of incidents,” he said.

In addition to the student who made the initial report, Lancia said, other students shared information with police about the incident in interviews.

“I’m really proud of them,” he said. “We’ve been teaching them for years that if you see something, say something. I’m really proud they had the courage to come forward and alert administrators.”

In a letter to the community, Lancia said resources were made available for students who need help processing the incident.

“Please reach out to your school counselors and principals if you or your children need support in processing this event or school violence in general,” he wrote. “It is important to talk about incidents, reassure children that schools are generally very safe places, validate their feelings, offer age-appropriate information, and correct misinformation.”

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