7-year-old found with loaded gun at Dorchester school

“I’m speechless. I don’t have the words. This is truly devastating.”

A 7-year-old brought a loaded gun to an elementary school in Dorchester Thursday, police said.

Boston police responded to the Up Academy Holland School around 3:30 p.m. for a report of a student with a firearm. Upon arrival, officers recovered the weapon from a 7-year-old student attending the school.

It is unclear how the student gained access to the firearm, as well as how it was discovered.

Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox said the incident remains under investigation as the department focuses on the proliferation of guns in the city.

“The person responsible for allowing access to this weapon is going to be held accountable,” Mayor Michelle Wu said in a statement. “No child should be near a weapon, much less directly endangered at such a young age.”


The discovery comes on the same day Boston City Hall officials held a hearing on school safety. According to The Boston Globe, the state found the district had “no effective process” for tracking and responding to parent complaints about bullying, assaults, sexual misconduct, and other safety issues. 

Leaders acknowledged that Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper, who took up the post last month, inherited long-standing issues within the district. In a statement, Skipper said she was “speechless” over Thursday afternoon’s incident.

“I don’t have the words. This is truly devastating,” she said. “We have to ask ourselves how a very young student becomes in possession of and gains access to a firearm …. When a young person gets access to a gun out of accessibility, we really have to ask ourselves, how does this happen?”


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