A man reportedly drove around Natick High School Wednesday afternoon, yelling racial slurs and threats, and firing a paintball gun toward the school as he drove away, Natick Superintendent Anna Nolin said in a statement.
“Thankfully, no one was physically harmed in the incident,” Nolin wrote. “The Natick Police Department responded immediately and worked in partnership with Natick High School to secure the area and quickly deemed the school safe for after-school activities.”
Jacob Rodrigues, 18, of Fall River, has been charged in connection with the incident, according to Natick District Court’s clerk’s office. He was arraigned there on Thursday and pleaded not guilty to seven different charges — assault with a dangerous weapon, intimidation of a witness, threatening to commit a crime, disturbing the peace, a civil rights violation, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and disorderly conduct.
He was released, but ordered to stay away from the school and wear a GPS monitor, according to the court. His next court date is May 3.
— WCVB-TV Boston (@WCVB) March 21, 2019
Read Nolin’s full statement:
Dear Natick Community:
I write this afternoon to inform you of an incident that occurred this afternoon at Natick High School that threatened our sense of safety and community.
An individual (not affiliated with Natick High School) drove through the front loop of campus shouting profanity, threats, and racial slurs. As the individual sped off onto West Street, he showed what appeared to be a firearm, paintball gun or airsoft rifle and reportedly fired three shots into the air in the direction of the school. The item was later confirmed to be a large paintball rifle.
Thankfully, no one was physically harmed in the incident. The Natick Police Department responded immediately and worked in partnership with Natick High School to secure the area and quickly deemed the school safe for after-school activities. The Natick Police found evidence of three paintball shots at the scene. The suspect was detained offsite and taken into custody.
We want to assure students, parents, staff and members of the community that safety is always our top priority. We also want to restate our values as an inclusive community that condemns all acts of hostility, racism and violence. We have no tolerance for racism or bigotry of any kind. We will address this incident and restate our core values tomorrow and every day at Natick High School.
As a constant reminder of our district’s core values and education program on these matters, please visit our Social Justice section of the Natick Schools website.
We want to thank and commend the Natick High School students who witnessed the incident and the Natick Police for their professional and thorough response.
We live and work in a great community that truly cares and supports one another.