STONEHAM — Chief James McIntyre reports that the Stoneham Police Department will charge a man after gunshots rang out near two schools in town.
A 52-YEAR-OLD MALE FROM MALDEN is charged with:
- Discharging a Firearm within 500 Feet of a Dwelling
- Improper Storage of a Firearm
- Violation of a Town Bylaw Relating to the Discharge of a Firearm
- Disorderly Conduct
- Disturbing the Peace
On Wednesday, Nov. 7, the Stoneham Police Department received multiple 911 calls reporting gunshots in the area of Karen Drive. Police units were immediately dispatched to the area.
As police units were responding to the scene, two nearby schools, Stoneham High School and Colonial Park School, were contacted and requested to shelter in place out of an abundance of caution. During a shelter in place, access to the buildings are restricted, but normal educational activities continue.
As police arrived in the area, they encountered several people in the yard of 4 Karen Drive. Officers spoke with the parties who provided conflicting stories as to what they were doing and denied shooting any firearms. The parties further stated that the sounds of the gunshots were likely from a pneumatic nail gun being used by nearby roofers. While on scene, officers located multiple freshly spent shell casings in the backyard at the residence.
Melrose Police and Massachusetts State Police K-9 units, along with the State Police Air Wing, responded for mutual aid to search the nearby woods as part of the investigation.
The investigation determined that the Malden man had allegedly been shooting at a target on a tree in the yard of the Karen Drive property. A 9 mm handgun was recovered.
The suspect had a valid license to carry firearms, but it is illegal to discharge a firearm near a dwelling.
The shelter in place advisories were quickly lifted at both schools, and students were dismissed as regularly scheduled.
“The individual involved in this incident clearly exercised poor judgement in unlawfully discharging a firearm in a residential neighborhood, in close proximity to multiple schools and homes,” Chief McIntyre said. “We are thankful that neighborhood residents and nearby school personnel reacted as quickly as they did to alert us to a potentially dangerous situation. I would like to thank our law enforcement partners – the Massachusetts State Police, Melrose Police and Woburn Police Departments for their assistance in bringing this incident to a successful resolution.”
These are allegations. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.