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Shots fired near Charlestown High School graduation, no injuries reported

Police responded to a shooting near Charlestown High School Monday along Polk Street.Carlin Stiehl

Police are investigating after gunshots rang out in Charlestown on Monday afternoon while hundreds of students and families were gathered for a nearby high school graduation, interrupting the ceremony, officials said.

Officers responded at 3:56 p.m. to a 911 call reporting shots fired near Polk Street and Walford Way, said Sergeant Detective John Boyle, a Boston police spokesman.

Charlestown High School is nearby on Medford Street between Elm and Polk streets, and the school was holding its graduation ceremony on the field across Medford Street from the school.

Boyle said the gunshots were not connected to the graduation ceremony, and no one was injured, though there was “ballistic damage” to two vehicles.


Police recovered ballistic evidence at the scene, but no arrests have been made, Boyle said.

Late Monday afternoon, a section of Polk Street between Walford Way and Medford Street was closed off with police tape as multiple cruisers surrounded the area. Across the street, near the field where the ceremony was held, graduates in blue gowns and caps milled about with friends and families.

“Our graduation celebrations are deeply personal to us and it’s devastating that senseless acts of violence in the community interrupted what was meant to be a joyous occasion,” Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said in a statement.

“Our students and their families work incredibly hard to reach this moment and to start their journeys after graduation,” Cassellius continued. “We are very proud of this class that has been through so much and yet they persevered.”

The ceremony will be rescheduled, and families will be notified of the new date and time once it is finalized, the school district said.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said the city’s “students have worked so hard and their families have poured in so much to earn the community celebrations at graduation.”


“It’s devastating and unacceptable that acts of violence in the community interrupted that moment for families in Charlestown today. ... We look forward to the rescheduled commemorations in the near future,” Wu said in a statement.

Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden reaffirmed his commitment to cutting down the number of illegal guns on the city’s streets.

“Bullets fired from illegal guns wound our society just as they wound and kill the people who comprise it,” Hayden said in a statement. “Today’s broad-daylight shooting near Charlestown High School, just as students, teachers and parents were gathering for a graduation event, is yet another example of the perilous combination of too many illegal guns and too many people willing to use them--anywhere, anytime.”

The incident comes after guns were found in the backpacks of two students at Charlestown High last month. The boys, ages 13 and 17, were taken into custody by police and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. Metal detectors were reintroduced at the school the next day.

Globe correspondent Breanne Kovatch contributed to this report.

Nick Stoico can be reached at Follow him @NickStoico. Madison Mercado can be reached at