A student who had been suspended from Nashoba Valley Technical High School in Westford is facing criminal charges after showing up there anyway Wednesday with a weapon.
Authorities say the school was put on lockdown after the 16-year-old student brandished a large gun that turned out to be a pellet gun.
Westford Police Chief Thomas McEnaney said the school's assistant principal forcibly stopped the teenager as he entered a cafeteria full of students.
"He put himself in front of this individual who was carrying a weapon, and — between himself and the students — and he took matters into his own hands and actually disarmed this individual, and for that I am very grateful," McEnaney said.
The teen faces charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, carrying a dangerous weapon on school property, illegal possession of a BB gun and disrupting a school assembly.
Students were dismissed early.
Parent Samantha Gervais said news of the incident shook her up.
"Got the phone call from the school, and then hearing the superintendent tell you what could happen, and then you start thinking, 'Oh my God, this is real, something really could have happened,'" she said. "That's when you go into panic mode."
With reporting by the WBUR Newsroom and The Associated Press
This article was originally published on October 19, 2011.
This program aired on October 19, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.