By Beth Germano, WBZ-TVBy Beth Germano

WORCESTER (CBS) – Worcester Police arrested a 16-year-old student at Burncoat High School after they say a loaded handgun and ammunition was found in a container in his locker.

School officials say a teacher overheard a student talking about using a gun in the community, alerted administrators and a search was conducted. “A teacher overheard the student having a conversation with other students saying that he wanted to shoot a police officer,” said Worcester police Sgt. Kerry Hazelhurst.

School officials say calls went out to families, and parent Dennis Steward praised their quick action. “It’s pretty fortunate they were able to find the person, apprehend him and bring him to the officials,” said Steward.

But some parents and students say they never got the news and believe the school should have taken more action. “They should have put the school in lockdown until they found out everything was fine,” said parent Carmen Rivera.

Some students now say they want to feel safer and are urging the school to review safety protocols like metal detectors at the doors. “We don’t do any searches to see what’s in a backpack or what a person might have that might be threatening to other students,” said junior Prince Boateng.

Worcester Police are hoping to track how the student obtained the gun, and are alarmed themselves by the possibilities. “There’s a lot of potential, all of it very bad,” said Sgt. Hazelhurst. “I’m very relieved the teacher was there at the right time and the right place.”

The student was charged with possession of a firearm without a license and possession of ammunition without an FID card. School officials say he could also face disciplinary action such as suspension.

“Schools will be closed next week due to spring vacation. The administration and school officials will evaluate the situation to determine if any further measures should be taken in addition to current safety protocols,” according to a statement.

Arraignment will be held at Worcester County District Court next Tuesday morning.

Beth Germano

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