ROXBURY (CBS) — A 15-year-old boy was arrested Wednesday morning after police say he fired a gun during a struggle in the lobby of the Boston School District headquarters building in Dudley Square.

Boston Police said the shooting took place around 9:20 a.m. at the Washington Street building, where students sign up for classes.

BPD Commissioner Bill Evans said the shooting arose from a confrontation between the 15-year-old and another child who was walking down from the second floor with his mother after registering for school. He said the two are believed to have known each other.

“There was some exchanging of words. At that point, one of the individuals went into his backpack, pulled out a large semiautomatic handgun. A struggle ensued, where in that struggle, one shot was fired,” said Commissioner Evans.

Evans said the gun, a .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol, fortunately jammed after one shot was fired into the floor, and no other shots were fired. He said three building employees then pounced on the 15-year-old, holding him down and kicking the gun away.

He praised the three employees, as well as MBTA Transit Police and Boston Police officers for their quick response in arresting the boy.

“He’s only a young kid,” said Evans. “He looks like a baby. But at the same time, I’ve seen the size of the gun. It’s unfortunate, like the Mayor said, that we have young kids running around this neighborhood with such firepower in their backpack.”

That young boy is due in court later Wednesday.

Nobody was injured in the incident.

“Thank God nobody was harmed here physically, but certainly there’s a lot of shaken up folks here,” Mayor Marty Walsh said.

Boston Public Schools staff sheltered in place after the shooting. Trauma teams have been sent to work with the staff.

“Nobody was aware of this at first but within a minute of the incident we were all of a sudden being moved to a secure spot,” said employee Darren Copeland.

Witnesses told WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager they were stunned to hear a shot fired in the busy office building, and then see police streaming in.

“The police were telling me, ‘move out of the way, I’m chasing somebody, move out of the way,’ so I moved out of the way, and they went inside there and they caught both of them,” said witness Earnest Aponte.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports

Melvyn Walker captured the suspect’s arrest on cell phone video.

“I heard screaming, too,” Walker said. “And I heard a struggle as well.”

One neighbor said he hoped the school department would follow the advice of the police in making the building more secure.

“Every time we have a shooting in the City of Boston, it comes right back to the fact that young people have access to too many handguns,” said Walsh. “And we’re going to continue to work with our police department, with our partners in the community, with the neighborhoods, to try and continue to take these guns off the street.”

The Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building (File image; Boston Public Schools)

The Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building (File image; Boston Public Schools)

The Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building, where the shooting took place, houses the Boston Public Schools District Headquarters along with the Department of Neighborhood Development.

It also houses retail stores and restaurants. It had been open for about an hour at the time of the shooting.

Several police cruisers were present at the scene Wednesday.

Police cruisers outside the Boston School Department Headquarters, where shots were fired Wednesday morning. (WBZ-TV)

Police outside the Boston School Department Headquarters, where shots were fired Wednesday morning. (WBZ-TV)

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reported the building was reopened shortly after 10:30 a.m.

Evans said his department would work with the school department to tighten security at the building.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

Comments (3)
  1. Arrest his parents, they’re responsible for a 15 year old jerk.

  2. A US Vet says:

    Guns are not the problem, people making bad decisions while having possession of one…is how guns get a bad name. A gun is an inanimate object. It is supposed to be used for target practice, legally permitted hunting and valid self-defense by legally licensed persons. Here, the parents should be held accountable for allowing their child to have this gun which most likely he kept in his room somewhere or removed from his home as owned by a parent whom failed to properly secure the gun and the ammunition. As for the 15-year old’s role….he is certainly old enough to know better on both the illegality and the harm of his self-decision. We make too make excuses for people’s self-decided and self-taken actions. We need to get back to holding parents accountable for ‘how’ their kids act. We need to go back to issuing strong judicial sentences based on the crime…not forgiveness and offered excuses. Any person that makes a self-decision to self-arm themselves and to act like this, regardless of their age, sex or race, is a terrorist. Just like every gang member and gang organization is a terrorist. They alone, have self-chosen to act in evil public endangering ways. The DA needs to understand the premeditation that preemptively illegally self-arming is and charge him as an adult. Prosecute, lock him up and send the public safety message that needs to be sent here.

  3. These kids should not be allowed to buy and carry guns. Who gave them a license to carry? What shop sold them this gun? The licensing police officer should be fired immediately.

    Oh wait.

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