Gun arrest hits close to home

Healy in a photo from 2014
(via Facebook)

Healy in a photo from 2014 (via Facebook)

Andrew Friel and Ben Walker

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On Tuesday March 6th, Crisafulli custodian and WA Class of 2015 graduate James Healy was arrested when it was discovered, via a tip, that he was in possession of several illegal firearms. One of these firearms was found in his vehicle parked at the school.

According to the Westford Police Department, the suspect was booked on six gun related charges, including possessing a firearm without a license, owning firearm accessories without a license, and an ammunition charge.

He was expected to be arraigned in Ayer District Court on Wednesday, March 7th, on all charges.

The tip was achieved through the viewing of several Instagram posts involving Healy and his firearms, in which he poses with the guns in several different manners that many students at WA found to be disturbing.

The Instagram page contained several photos of Healy waving the firearms around and pointing one in the direction of the camera.

Superintendent Bill Olsen issued a statement to parents and staff through an email and phone call on Tuesday evening.

For many years, we have devoted considerable time and effort to school security and the safety of our students and staff. This is an egregious breach of public trust, school safety, and the work that our school system and public safety officials have done to keep our students and staff safe,” Olsen wrote.

Following the arrest, which left much of the Westford community shaken, Westford Academy students sounded off on the incident.

Senior Adithya Vellal noted his concern, but also noted his pleasure with the swiftness of the action by the Westford police.

“When I heard about the incident at Crisafulli, I was pretty surprised and it was quite scary to be honest. At the same time, there are some things we just have to be precautionary about and it’s good that we have the procedures in place to take action quickly when necessary,” Vellal said.

Other students expressed surprise with an otherwise quiet town being rocked by such a scandal.

“It was definitely a very shocking and sad situation and made it worse since it happened in our town. […] Kids have plenty to worry about,” senior Amogh Nagaragian said.

The reality of the situation set in for many students today, especially for students such as junior Jenny Park.

“Honestly, I didn’t know what to think about it at first. I was pretty shocked. […] It makes it so much more real now that it’s closer,” Park said.