Portland police detained a 17-year-old student from Baxter Academy for Technology and Science on Thursday morning when he came to school wearing a black tactical vest with magazines for an airsoft rifle.

No firearms or airsoft weapons were found, police said, and none of the 20 students on the bus was injured.

In a news release, Maj. Robert Martin said the bus was traveling from Scarborough to Portland just after 8 a.m. when the driver radioed the school to tell them the student had donned the vest. Martin said he either put it on after boarding or had been wearing it under another article of clothing.

School staff called 911, and police met the bus when it arrived at the school on Lancaster Street. They determined that the student had a butterfly knife and CO2 cartridges with him.

Major said the student did not make any threats, and he cooperated with the officers who took him into custody.

The teenager was released to the custody of his parents, and police consulted the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office. Martin said a decision about criminal charges will be made when the investigation is complete.


“The prompt identification and response to this potential threat by the bus driver and the school’s immediate notification to police were instrumental in the quick and safe resolution of what could have escalated to a more serious situation had the student entered the school,” Martin said in the release.

Kelli Pryor, executive director of Baxter Academy, said the school shared information about the incident with its community via text and email.

“The student will not be returning to school for the remainder of the school year, and the school will be instituting measures designed to ensure the safety of the school community going forward,” Pryor wrote in an email to the Press Herald.

An academic calendar on the school’s website says the spring term ends June 14.

Police asked anyone with information that might relate to this case to call them at (207) 874-8575.

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