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Body found behind Hyannis elementary school

HYANNIS — The discovery of a young man’s body near the back door of an elementary school Tuesday morning prompted the closure of the school and shocked residents.

A person walking a dog found the body with a self-inflicted gunshot wound outside Hyannis West Elementary School on West Main Street at around 5:50 a.m., according to a statement from the Barnstable school superintendent. The man was determined to be a 2011 graduate of Barnstable High School, according to the statement.

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“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of this young man,” Superintendent Mary Czajkowski said in the statement. Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe declined to comment. Barnstable police said only that they were conducting a death investigation.

“I’m a little shocked,” said Katrina Giammarco, 32, who stopped by the school Tuesday afternoon to register her daughter for kindergarten, only to find the doors of the school closed. “It’s not a bad area.”

The only sign of a police investigation Tuesday afternoon was a piece of yellow crime scene tape lying on the ground in the back of the school, which is ringed by woods.

The principal of the school, along with school counselors and staff, will be meeting Wednesday prior to the opening of school, and a letter will be sent home with students, according to the statement.

Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com. Catalina Gaitan can be reached at catalina.gaitan@globe.com.
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