A teenage student was shot Tuesday morning on the grounds of a Boston high school, according to city law enforcement.
The Jeremiah E. Burke High School student is in stable condition and another student, a 17-year-old identified as his shooter, was located and arrested, officials said. Police said the suspected shooter is a child who will appear in juvenile court; the charges against them are pending.
The shooting prompted a lockdown at the Dorchester school, where a student was stabbed last month.
"My heart breaks as a mom and as a resident of this city," Mayor Michelle Wu said at the start of the news conference.
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"On Monday and Tuesday of this week alone, my office picked up five new cases involving illegal guns," Suffolk County District Attorney said in a statement to NBC10 Boston. "When you have students packing guns along with their school books it's perfectly clear how perilous this problem has become. I dearly hope this public crisis will get the societal attention it deserves."
Officers responded to the school on Washington Street for report of a person shot around 9:30 a.m., according to Felipe Colon, superintendent of the Boston Police Bureau of Investigative Services. Police found a teenage boy, a student at Jeremiah Burke High School, with a gunshot wound.
Sources tell the NBC10 Boston Investigators that the teen was shot in the stomach.
The teenager was taken to the hospital and is listed in stable condition, Colon said.
"Shortly after the incident, a description of the suspect was broadcasted. Additional officers responding to the scene located an individual matching that description," Colon said. "That individual was positively ID'd as the suspect."
A search of the area led to the recovery of a gun, Colon said, who added that the investigation is ongoing.
The school was taken out of safe mode after several hours, allowing students to safely move around the school, according to Chief of Safety Services for Boston Public Schools Neva Coakley. Additional staff members were made available to support students and staff alike.
People in the area are bothered by the violence.
"We heard gunshots and witnessed someone running away from the scene," said one woman who works in the area and didn't want to be identified. "We are in an office where we are scared to leave our office, trying to get out here late, and it is nerve-wracking to get to your car … because it is nonstop."
The woman says she saw the whole crime unfold on her company's surveillance video system.
"We saw it with our own eyes loading it," she said. "It is nerve-wracking -- are they coming back, or is there more that is going to go on? It is constant battle, and when you even hear a pop, you are ducking down, so it is just getting to a point where something needs to take place."
"This is a school — this is where we should be coming to celebrate and be able to see the community that's here at the Burke and the good work going on in the building," Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper said. "And again, we have violence, with youth. Too many students, too many young people, too many guns in the street."
In a letter to parents, Skipper said Boston Public Schools should have alerted them more quickly about the shooting.
"We also must communicate with our families swiftly and efficiently," she said in the letter. "That did not happen as quickly as it should have today and we apologize. We are currently reviewing our internal systems to ensure such a lag in communication never occurs again."
Police ask that anyone who has information relevant to the case get in touch with department detectives at 617-343-4270.
"This is another example of how guns and young people don't mix at all," Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox said. "As a police department, we're going to work with our partners to do all we can to reduce the number of guns in the City of Boston."
Wu emphasized the community's strength and resilience during her remarks.
"This is a community that is strong. They have experienced trauma," she said. "What happened today — it's not okay. And cannot be the responsibility of just our school department to address violence in our communities. What happens in our students' lives, at home, in the community, end up coming out in our sacred spaces of learning."
Wu thanked the school staff who "acted immediately" in the moments that followed the situation, by reaching out to public safety. The mayor said the student was in the hospital "within minutes," and "all of the processes kicked into gear just as had been planned and practiced."
Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden said at the news conference that authorities will do everything they can to handle the case thoroughly.
"Right now, we are together collectively concerned for this community, for the students involved, for the administration," Hayden said. "And we will continue to do all we can to support them through this tragic situation."