A teacher and a student at TechBoston Academy were shot in the parking lot of the Dorchester school early Tuesday evening, and police were searching to locate a shooting suspect who fled the scene, officials said.
The teacher, 31, and the 17-year-old student were taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening, Boston police Superintendent-in-Chief Gregory Long said.
The grade 6 to 12 pilot school will be closed on Wednesday, but counselors are available at the school located at 9 Peacevale Road for students and staff, Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said.
As of late Tuesday night, there were no arrests, a Boston police spokesman said.
Officers responded to a report of a shooting at the school at about 5:40 p.m. and arrived to find the teacher and student suffering from non-life-threatening gunshot wounds, Long, the acting police commissioner, said during a news conference at the scene.
Both victims were taken to nearby hospitals, Long said. He said he could not comment on a possible suspect in the shootings, nor could he say whether the victims were targeted.
“It’s a very active investigation,” he said, according to an audio recording of the news conference provided by the department.
Long said investigators were interviewing witnesses and reviewing surveillance video and a “ton of resources” were being devoted to the inquiry.
“Obviously this is a very concerning and disturbing set of circumstances,” Long said. “Schools are supposed to be a safe haven for our students and our teachers, not a place where they’re subjected to brazen and random acts of violence.”
“This type of behavior cannot and will not be tolerated,” he added.
Mayor Michelle Wu said during the news conference that she and Cassellius met with school staff after the shooting. Neighborhood Trauma Teams from the city came to the school Tuesday evening, she said, and there will be support available on Wednesday.
“This is an unacceptable situation, and we are going to do everything it takes to ensure that each one of our schools, our parks, our communities are the safe, welcoming homes that all of our students deserve,” Wu said. “This is a beautiful community. This is a school that is loving and strong and just so full of opportunity and energy.”
Wu said her administration would quickly address the incident.
“I am standing by with my team in my office to provide whatever supports are necessary,” she said.
Cassellius said the Boston Public Schools crisis team had quickly responded to the school after she was notified of the shooting by its principal.
“Seven clinicians are here already, but we will provide the additional support that’s needed to ensure that counseling is available for our students and for our staff,” Cassellius said. “This is going to be an all-hands-on-deck to make sure that this doesn’t happen in our community any longer.”
At the scene Tuesday night, the parking lot was quiet. A soccer practice at Roberts Playground concluded around 9 p.m., and soon after, the lights illuminating the field and the parking lot were turned off.
The shootings are the second disturbing incident at the school this week.
On Monday, a 31-year-old technician at the school, Ernest Logan, was arraigned on charges that he requested and received “sexual images” from a minor, the Suffolk district attorney’s office said.
The gun violence also marked the second attack on a Boston Public Schools educator this school year. In November, a 16-year-old girl attacked Principal Patricia M. Lampron at the Dr. William Henderson Inclusion School, knocking her unconscious, officials said at the time.
Wu said Tuesday that her office is planning citywide initiatives to help create more opportunities for young people that can keep them from getting involved with crime and violence.
“Whatever we can do across city government, across each and every one of our sectors and institutions in the city to lift up our young people, is an investment in that future that we all need,” she said. “We’re trying to address this from all sides, in very difficult times still.”
As the mother of two young children, Wu said, the city’s schools are among her first thoughts each morning as she gets them ready for their day.
“You place so much trust in your teachers and your school system,” she said. “We will live up to that trust.”