Methuen High Student, 16, in Court Today to Face Charges of Stabbing 15-Year-Old

Mayor Neil Perry and Chief Scott McNamara. (Courtesy photograph.)

A 16-year-old Methuen High School student is charged with armed assault to murder and related charges after a stabbing Monday morning at the school.

The male student, unnamed because of his age, allegedly stabbed a 15-year-old male former student twice in the torso before 11:40 a.m., according to Methuen Police Chief Scott J. McNamara. The student was also charged with carrying a dangerous weapon on school grounds, two counts assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault with a dangerous weapon.

McNamara said detectives are working with the School Department and others to find out how the student obtained the knife. Police said it appears he was let into the building by two other students who opened a locked side door. The teen is being held on $250,000 cash bail and is expected to be arraigned Tuesday in Lawrence District Court Juvenile Division.

As WHAV previously reported, police said they expect to also charge the visitor, who suffered what were described as “non-life-threatening injuries,” with unauthorized entry into Methuen High School. He is reportedly in stable condition at a hospital.

“I would like to stress that we have no reason to believe there is an ongoing threat to students, staff or the community at large,” McNamara said. “I would also like to recognize the quick response of the student and staff member who intervened, as well as the quick response of school nurses who helped to provide medical aid.”

McNamara said a school resource officer on duty at Methuen High became aware of an incident and notified public safety dispatchers. Methuen first responders were dispatched. The officer soon updated dispatchers an individual was stabbed and a former student detained. Firefighters, police officers, and paramedics treated the juvenile, who was taken by Methuen Fire Department to an area hospital.

A preliminary investigation suggests the former student entered the school to confront the 15-year-old over an unnamed issue. A fight took place and quickly escalated with the student allegedly stabbing the visitor. With knife in hand, he then chased another high school student who was able to escape.

A staff member and student who witnessed the initial assault intervened and were able to detain the suspect until police arrived and took him into custody.

McNamara said the Methuen Police Department and Methuen Public Schools will jointly review security measures, including policies regarding door locking and building access.

Police maintained a presence at the high school following the violence said they will continue to do so over the following days.

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