M/cloudy
52°
M/cloudy
Hi 52° | Lo 37°

Gun Scare Near High School Draws Response in Hartford

Standing on Saunders Ave.  in Hartford, Vt., from left Director of the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center, Doug Heavisides, Detective Chris Aher, Patrol Officer Fred Peyton and Sgt. Dennis Coughlin, of the Hartford Police Dept. Police were responding to the area for a report of a student with a gun, on Oct. 14, 2013.  Valley News - Jennifer Hauck

Standing on Saunders Ave. in Hartford, Vt., from left Director of the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center, Doug Heavisides, Detective Chris Aher, Patrol Officer Fred Peyton and Sgt. Dennis Coughlin, of the Hartford Police Dept. Police were responding to the area for a report of a student with a gun, on Oct. 14, 2013. Valley News - Jennifer Hauck Purchase photo reprints »

Hartford — Police officers responded to the corner of Saunders Avenue and Hanover Street in Hartford Monday afternoon for a report of a teenager walking toward the high school with a gun, police said.

Sgt. Dennis Coughlin said after an initial investigation, police determined that a male suspect — roughly 15 years of age — was carrying an Airsoft rifle near school grounds. Airsoft guns are replica firearms that use plastic pellets as ammunition.

Upon arrival, Coughlin said police officials made contact with the boy at his residence and spoke with him about the situation.

“We don’t take lightly to (this), especially with the recent events and everything that is going on,” Coughlin said.

The call came through at 3:38 p.m. and Coughlin said the Hartford Police Department called for backup from other Upper Valley police forces.

The neighboring departments were called off just before 4 p.m.

The Norwich Police Department assisted Hartford police and State Police troopers on location.

At the scene on Monday, three officers convened on the corner of Saunders Avenue and Hanover Street. One Hartford detective had a large, black AR 15 riffle.

Hartford Area Career and Technical Center Director Doug Heavisides was speaking with officers. Heavisides didn’t return calls requesting comments Monday .

Although the situation didn’t escalate, Coughlin said it can be used as a learning experience.

“I mean look at it, it’s after school, there are children all over the place out there,” Coughlin said, pointing toward the schoolyard.

“What can happen?,” he questioned.

“It’s just one of those things that you remember, you learn and you try and take from that what you can the next time you get a call like this — if there ever is a time.”

Coughlin said police will continue to investigate the situation.

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.