Souhegan Snapchat video prompts police to track down off-campus gunBy PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader
February 19. 2018 4:47PM
AMHERST — Two Souhegan High School students were detained and questioned by Amherst police Monday after a parent contacted authorities about a Snapchat video showing a juvenile male holding a pistol near an abandoned car in a field.
Amherst police issued a statement Monday saying no threat was ever made and the pistol shown in the video was never on school grounds, but a uniformed officer was posted at Souhegan High School Monday afternoon as a “cautionary measure” while police searched for the firearm.
Police said the firearm shown in the video was recovered from an Amherst residence at approximately 1:15 p.m.
According to police, the pistol was found stored in a family home inside a locked safe. The matter remains under investigation, and no charges had been filed against anyone as of Monday afternoon.
SAU 39 distric personnel sent an email Monday afternoon to parents of students in the district notifying them of the incident, calling the images depicted in the video “disturbing.”
“In conjunction with the police, we immediately investigated and were able to determine the identities of the students in the video,” reads the email. “Additionally, we determined the events depicted in the video did not take place on school grounds and did not take place during school hours.
“Regardless, we take these situations very seriously and thus, we dedicated significant resources to assist the Amherst Police Department in addressing the situation.”
According to Amherst police, around 11:30 a.m. Monday a parent — who wished to remain anonymous — contacted them about a Snapchat video showing a youth holding a pistol while standing beside a damaged car in an unidentified field.
According to police, no threats were ever made in the video toward anyone, and the pistol never appeared on school grounds.
“At no point were the Souhegan High School students, staff, or general public at risk,” police said in a statement.
A copy of the Snapchat video was not shared with the media on Monday.
The SAU 39 statement to parents said police were able to provide additional officers to be onsite throughout the school day.
“We are working with the police department regarding any students involved in the situation,” the statement says. “The police reassured us that at no point were the SHS students, staff, or general public at risk. We are grateful to the Amherst Police Department for their swift and thorough response and will continue to work to ensure the safety of all of our students.”
SAU 39 Assistant Superintendent Adam Steel said because the students involved are juveniles, he was unable to comment on whether they are currently facing any disciplinary action.
“That said, we take incidents like this very seriously,” said Steel. “We are working to make sure that every student feels safe in our schools.”