Teen arrested for bringing gun to school

BAR HARBOR – A 14-year-old Mount Desert Island High School student was arrested last week after police were alerted to a video and message he posted on social media showing him on school grounds with a firearm, according to Chief Jim Willis of the Bar Harbor and Mount Desert police departments.

The boy, who is not being identified because he is a juvenile, was not at school on Oct. 31, the day police located him at a home in Mount Desert and subsequently charged him with burglary, theft, possession of a concealed weapon and possession of a firearm on or near school property. Willis said the youth made his initial appearance in court on Nov. 2 and later was released to the custody of his parents.

Willis said the handgun allegedly was taken during the burglary of a Mount Desert residence different from the one where the youth was located. The boy, he said, does not live on Mount Desert Island. The chief declined to disclose what town he does live in.

The firearm was recovered at the time of the arrest, and the matter remains under investigation.

“We’re still conducting interviews and evaluating and processing evidence,” he said. Additional charges are possible, Willis added.

According to Hancock County District Attorney Matthew Foster, there was no threat made against the school or any person. Another high school student notified school officials of the social media posting, he said.

In one case, the defendant is seen in a photo taken on school grounds where he is pointing a gun at himself, Foster said. There also is an online video, described by Foster as a “rap video,” where he is seen pointing a gun at other high school students. In both cases, the handgun is believed to be the same weapon taken during the burglary, Foster said.

School system Superintendent Marc Gousse said the high school is conducting its own investigation into the matter.

Gousse said no extra security was needed at the school because of the incident.

“The school did not go into lockdown,” he said, adding existing “security protocols” were in place.

The school system’s policy for students prohibits the possession of firearms on school property. A student who violates the policy shall be expelled for at least one year, a penalty that can be modified by the superintendent on a case-by-case basis in writing.

Late Monday afternoon, high school Principal Matt Haney sent a message to the families of high school students notifying them of the incident.

“I want you to know that throughout the process we have followed our protocols and policies closely and worked in cooperation with local law enforcement,” Haney states. “At no time were we aware of an imminent safety threat nor did circumstances indicate that a lockdown of the campus was necessary.”



Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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