Gunshots fired near Charlestown High School graduation

No one was injured, and police found bullet holes in two nearby cars.

Police responded to a shooting near Charlestown High School along Polk St. on July 13. Carlin Stiehl/The Boston Globe

A high school graduation ceremony in Boston was cut short Monday when gunshots were heard nearby. 

Police responded to a 911 call from Charlestown around 4 p.m., The Boston Globe reported. A caller said shots were fired near Polk Street and Walford Way, a Boston police spokesman told the Globe. Charlestown High School is located around the block, between Elm and Polk Streets. A graduation ceremony was being held on a field across from the school on Medford Street.

No one was injured, the spokesman confirmed Monday evening. 

“Ballistic damage” to two vehicles was found nearby, the Globe reported. No arrests have been made and the shooting is not connected to Charlestown High. 


Those attending the ceremony described a terrifying situation. Three or four gunshots were heard, and the entire crowd ducked down, WCVB reported

“We just heard open fire, so we all ducked down. Everyone was screaming, crying. People were getting trampled. It was very traumatizing,” Yasiris Navarro told WCVB. “It was very sad and unfortunate because we all came out to celebrate the graduates and this is what we experienced.”

The graduates were not able to walk across the stage and receive their diplomas before the shooting, WCVB reported. 

A section of Polk Street was closed Monday afternoon with police tape, and multiple cruisers were seen in the surrounding area, the Globe reported. 

“Our graduation celebrations are deeply personal to us and it’s devastating that senseless acts of violence in the community interrupted what was meant to be a joyous occasion,” Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said in a statement. “Our students and their families work incredibly hard to reach this moment and to start their journeys after graduation. We are very proud of this class that has been through so much and yet they persevered.”

The ceremony will be rescheduled, the Globe reported. 


“Bullets fired from illegal guns wound our society just as they wound and kill the people who comprise it,” Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden said in a statement. “Today’s broad-daylight shooting near Charlestown High School, just as students, teachers and parents were gathering for a graduation event, is yet another example of the perilous combination of too many illegal guns and too many people willing to use them–anywhere, anytime.”

Last month, two boys were taken into custody at Charlestown High after police found two guns in the school. The building was placed in “safe mode,” while a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old were taken into custody. Metal detectors were reinstalled at the school following the incident, according to the Globe.


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