AP NEWS

Gun Brought to School Not Same One Stolen from Ex-Lowell Cop

September 21, 2018

LOWELL -- The gun that an 11-year-old student brought into the Sullivan Middle School Sept. 13 is not the same gun stolen from a retired Lowell police officer last June, Police Superintendent Kelly Richardson told The Sun this week.

The gun that was brought into the Sullivan School, shown to friends, and later that evening was “fired indiscriminately” by a 14-year-old at Rotary Park in front of other juveniles was a .22-caliber handgun, Richardson said.

An investigation into the incident, which occurred in the Back Central neighborhood, is continuing and no charges have been filed to this point. Richardson said it has been determined that because the 11-year-old’s mother did not know the handgun was in their home, she will not be charged. However, the 14-year-old will be charged with juvenile delinquency to wit, discharging a firearm.

The 11-year-old cannot legally face charges, even in juvenile court, because recently-passed criminal justice reform bills raised the minimum age of criminal responsibility in Massachusetts from age 7 to age 12.

The gun stolen from retired officer Michael Miles while he was visiting a resident of the city’s Belvidere neighborhood is a .38-caliber handgun, The Sun has learned.

As the search for that firearm continues, the cases against the three juveniles accused of stealing it is moving forward in Lawrence Juvenile Court.

According to sources, one of the juveniles is related to Lowell Juvenile Court Clerk-magistrate Elizabeth Sheehy, which prompted the change of venue to Lawrence from Lowell Juvenile Court.

Carrie Kimball-Monahan, a spokesman for Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, said the suspects have been charged with possession of a large-capacity firearm. Two of the suspects are 15 and the other is 16.

Kimball-Monahan said one of the three suspects is facing two additional charges: larceny of a firearm and possession of ammunition without an FID card.

All three suspects were initially arraigned in the Lowell juvenile session on June 14 where they pleaded not guilty. A judge ordered that all three remain in Massachusetts, have no contact with each other or the victim, and submit to wearing GPS monitoring devices. Those conditions remain in place.

According to Kimball-Monahan, the suspects are scheduled to appear before a judge Oct. 29.

The theft occurred June 5 and was reported to police the next day. According to police, the firearm was in a locked motor vehicle belonging to Miles of Dracut, the former Lowell cop.

Jonathan Webb, who was the city’s acting police superintendent at the time, told The Sun the firearm was in a knapsack-like carrying bag and properly secured with a locking mechanism.

State law requires guns not in use, with the exception of primitive firearms, to be stored or kept “secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device,” to prevent unauthorized use.

Because the motor vehicle was locked and the firearm’s locking mechanism was engaged, Webb said police detectives did not find Miles in violation of state law. Myles, who served on Dracut’s School Committee for six years, retired in April 2015 from Lowell’s police force.

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