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School Goes on Lockdown, Then the Surprising Arrest

Biology teacher in Massachusetts accused of planting ammo, then calling it in
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2019 10:10 AM CDT
Alfred J. Purcell.   (Southbridge (Mass.) Police Department)

(Newser) – An all-too familiar scene unfolded at Southbridge High School in Massachusetts Thursday morning when the school went on lockdown. This case would prove unusual, however: Hours after the discovery of live ammo, police said they'd found the surprise culprit—the very teacher who called in the scare. The details surrounding the incident:

  • The teacher: Police say biology teacher Alfred J. Purcell, 57, informed school officials about 8am that he had discovered a live round of 9mm ammunition in a stairwell, reports CNN. The school immediately went on lockdown.
  • The video: School staff looked at video during the lockdown and noticed a strange thing: The video shows Purcell remove the ammo from his pocket, drop it on the ground, leave, then return 10 minutes later to take a photo and call in the "discovery" on a school radio, say police, per WCVB. (That video can seen in this report.)

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