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December 06. 2012 10:57PM

Police say Goffstown school neighbor was suicidal

GOFFSTOWN - A man described by police as suicidal pleaded not guilty Thursday to disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after an incident that led to a lockdown at Maple Avenue Elementary School.

Lucien Masson, 46, was held on $5,000 cash bail and requested court-appointed counsel.

According to police, Masson had access to weapons and barricaded himself inside his residence at 27 Elm St., which abuts the school parking lot.

Police Capt. Robert Browne said alcohol appeared to have played a significant part in the hour-long incident, and that a gun was removed from the house.

Elm Street was closed at both Main Street and Lakeview Avenue, Browne said. Police units were set up at the residence and around the school, he said.

"We were eventually able to maintain contact through a front window, and he ended up coming out the front door, where he was arrested," Browne said.

Masson was being held at the Valley Street jail as of Thursday afternoon.

Maple Avenue Elementary School Principal Suzanne Pyszka said students were initially in lockdown, but after receiving more information from police, the response was reduced to a "shelter-in-place."

The initial lockdown allowed staff to get third-graders in from the playground and account for all students, Pyszka said.

"It never went above a low-level emergency for us," she said.

Pyszka said a lockdown is typically used when there is an intruder on school grounds. A shelter-in-place is a lower level of response reserved for incidents such as gas leaks or other hazards outside the building.

Browne said shelter-in-place "basically means that it's safer for you to stay in away from doors and windows than go outside and move around."

Pyszka said parents were not notified until after the event so that she and staff could spend time with students.

"My focus was on the student population for that 30 minutes, keeping them calm and focusing on security," she said. "We answered questions, and we were able to take care of them while they were with us."

Pyszka said she visited each classroom afterward to answer any additional questions and said she was proud of both staff and students for their response during the event.

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Kathy Remillard may be reached at kremillard@newstote.com.


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