DANVERS, Mass. – No threats have been identified after two initial sweeps of St. John’s Prep in Danvers amid an investigation into a report of a person with a gun on campus Monday.
Danvers police and the school superintendent gave an update just after 4 p.m. saying an officer’s gun accidentally went off, elevating the situation from a hit-and-run response to a real active shooter situation.
“We are aware of reports of a single accidental discharge of a firearm by a responding Danvers officer,” state police said.
State and local police arrived at the Spring Street school shortly before 2 p.m. and immediately ordered students and staff to shelter in place.
“Dozens of troopers and Danvers police responded to St. John’s Prep for a report of a person with a gun at the school. An immediate entry was made and no threats have been identified at this time,” state police said in a tweet.
Law enforcement crews conducted secondary sweeps and worked to clear one building at a time. There were no reported injuries.
“Crews continue to sweep, no evidence of a gunman or any threat located yet,” state police said.
The students have since been kicked out of the buildings. Some students who ran away from the school on their own are being directed to the Stop & Shop on Newbury Street to be picked up by their parents.
FINAL UPDATE: The shooter threat has been confirmed to be a hoax. All search equipment safe from school. The investigation is ongoing to determine the source of the hoax threat. https://t.co/ATU3SZvdlp
— Mass State Police (@MassStatePolice) May 22, 2023
In a statement, St. John’s Prep said, “There has been a report of an active shooter on campus in Benjamin Hall. Danvers and State Police are on the scene. Students, faculty and staff are sheltering in place. We will also provide updates as as soon as possible
St. John’s Prep in Danvers sent an email at 2:01 pm announcing the threat of a possible active shooter, then followed up at 2:57 informing parents that the threat was a hoax. @boston25 pic.twitter.com/DgaUD708IR
— Jason Law (@JasonLawNews) May 22, 2023
Benjamin Hall houses high school students, laboratories and a dining hall.
Shortly before 3:30 p.m., educators announced they believed the school was the victim of a call.
“We believe that St. John’s was the victim of a call. Everyone is safe. There were no injuries and police are currently clearing campus buildings as we account for all students,” school officials said.
There is a heavy police presence at the school and in the surrounding streets. Video from the scene showed cruisers from multiple departments, officers with rifles and K9 teams gathered outside.
“The quick and professional response of the Danvers Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police and our regional public safety partners to this potentially tragic situation made it possible to clear the large campus in less than an hour. Our Deepest thanks to area agencies for their response. We also commend the St. John’s Prep administration for their composure and cooperation as the situation unfolded. Their leadership in the face of chaos made all the difference.” , Danvers city officials said in a statement.
The school is 175 acres in size with approximately nine buildings and numerous athletic fields, along with a student and faculty population of over 1,500.
Boston 25 has a crew on the scene.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.
©2023 Cox Media Group