Charlestown High graduation ceremony canceled after shots fired nearby

CHARLESTOWN – Boston Police are investigating a shooting that occurred near the Charlestown High School graduation. The ceremony was immediately stopped after the shots were fired.

Balloons and blue graduation gowns were mixed with blue flashing lights and police dogs. “I’m sad because I can’t get my diploma,” student Isabela Sanchez said. 

Graduates were set up in chairs on the Charlestown High School athletic field when from behind the bleachers where family members were cheering them on, gunshots.

“It was kind of a quick thing. I heard three to four shots. I looked back and then he started running the opposite direction of where he shot,” student Dajsha Matthews said.

“Everyone ran around and everything got really hectic really quickly,” another student said.

“We all ran and was trying to take cover literally,” Matthews said.

A block away on Polk Street, bullet holes in a shattered car window. On the sidewalk, a magazine for ammunition. One person taken to the hospital but no injuries from gunshots.

Boston Police said the shooting was not connected to the ceremony.

It was enough to stop the graduation ceremony at the most important moment, just as grads were about to get diplomas. 

“They were starting to say the names and everything,” Sanchez said.

In a statement, Superintendent of Schools Brenda Cassellius said “it’s devastating that senseless acts of violence in the community interrupted what was meant to be a joyous occasion.” 

“Something you would not expect at a graduation. They didn’t get their diplomas, so it was kind of you know sad,” Matthews said.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said commencement ceremonies will be rescheduled. 

No arrests have been made.

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