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Police ride school buses in Haverhill amid fears

After two school buses were shot at with pellet guns on Thursday, several Haverhill ­police officers rode in and alongside the buses on all routes in the city Friday morning.

A projectile that is believed to be from a pellet or BB gun was shot at the first bus, which was carrying children in the Head Start program, at around 11:30 a.m. Thursday, said James F. Scully, superintendent of schools.

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Later that day, the same type of weapon was used to shoot at a bus carrying high school students. The projectile broke a window, and glass fell on one student.

“She may have cut her finger,” said Scully, who added that there were no serious injuries.

Surveillance footage captured by a camera on the bus is being reviewed to see if a descrip­tion of the shooters or a getaway car can be found.

Friday was a half-day of school for Haverhill public school students, and several ­police officers monitored the buses during both commutes. Some followed behind in cruisers, others watched stops, and a few rode on the buses with the students, said Deputy Chief Donald Thompson of the ­Haverhill police.

There were no incidents Friday morning on any of the school buses, Scully said. He did not have information available on the number of bus routes in the city.

“Parents are concerned, ­especially after the tragedy in Connecticut,” Scully said. “There’s no way to alleviate anxiety when it comes to our children.”

For the past week, all available officers have been placed at all school grounds for additional security, Scully said.

The pellet gun shootings are under investigation, Thompson said.

Sarah N. Mattero can be reached at sarah.mattero@
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