Teacher 'plants bullet in American school to prove they need metal detectors'

While in custody, the teacher claimed he placed the bullet to start a lockdown and make the point that the school required better safety measures

Victoria Gagliardo-Silver
New York
Friday 17 May 2019 21:22 BST
US Teacher plants bullet, sparks lockdown

A high school biology teacher has been accused of bringing bullets to the school he worked at in an attempt to spark a lockdown to “prove to the school that they needed to get metal detectors”.

Alfred Purcell III, 57, of Woodstock, Connecticut, reported to Southbridge High School administration that he had found one live round of 9mm ammunition in a staircase of the Massachusetts school, prompting an hour-long lockdown on the campus.

However, upon review of the school’s security footage, it was determined that Mr Purcell himself placed the bullet in the stairwell about ten minutes prior to pretending to find it and calling it in.

Mr Purcell was then arrested at the school. Officers detected a hint of alcohol on Mr Purcell’s breath, which he denied consuming.

While in custody, Mr Purcell repeatedly claimed he placed the bullet to make the point the school required better safety measures.

“There was no kids that were injured, nobody was seriously impacted by this other than we went into a lockdown for an hour and we had to investigate a teacher who was doing things he shouldn’t be doing,” said the chief of the Southbridge Police, Shane Woodson.

Officers also found 102 rounds of live shotgun ammunition in the trunk of his car, and discovered that Mr Purcell’s license to carry a firearm had expired in his home state of Connecticut.

Mr Purcell has been charged with two counts of the unlawful possession of ammunition, two counts of carrying ammunition on school grounds, disturbing a school assembly, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace, and has been ordered to stay away from the school.

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Prior to the incident, the long time science teacher was told his contract at the school would not be renewed.

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