WORCESTER, Mass. (CBS/AP) — Worcester schools are stepping up security after two unrelated incidents of weapons being found on or near school grounds.
Police on Wednesday arrested five Worcester Vocational Technical High School students after a witness reported seeing them with guns in a school parking lot.
Officers searched a car and found a pellet gun that looked like a hunting rifle, an Air Soft rifle that resembled an assault rifle, a cross bow with a pistol grip, a blow dart weapon, and ammunition.
Three 18-year-old students and two 17-year-old students are scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on several charges.
In an unrelated incident, an 18-year-old non-student was arrested after he was observed near Burncoat High School hiding a gun he had in his backpack. A 15-year-old student was also arrested.
A school resource officer told WBZ-TV’s Susie Steimle that she thought something seemed suspicious. She followed them into the woods and saw them drop something and that turned out to be a loaded hand gun.
The 18-year-old, Devonte Barnes, is also being charged in a separate incident that happened two weeks ago in Worcester. He is facing charges of assault with intent to murder following a shooting involving two students who suffered minor injuries.
They were expected to be arraigned Thursday in Worcester District Court.
A parents meeting was held at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Worcester City Hall to discuss the recent incidents.
Mayor Joe Petty made one thing clear: “The city of Worcester is a safe community and we have very safe schools.”
The mayor is calling for a security audit of the schools. He also wants to increase the number of police liaisons from four to five.
Worcester Public School Superintendent Dr. Melinda Boone says they will review what’s happening in the schools, what’s happening in the community and discuss how they use resources.
“We’re not here today talking about a Band-Aid…nor are we being reactive,” she said.
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WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports: