Police: Student running late prompts shelter-in-place at 2 Westport schools

Photo of Peter Yankowski

WESTPORT — Two local schools were ordered to briefly shelter-in-place Thursday morning after a student walking onto campus was thought to be a suspicious person, police said.

“This was the best possible outcome, ” Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas said in a statement.

Westport police said the department’s school security officer and school resource officer at Staples High School “began to investigate a report of a suspicious person on school grounds,” around 9 a.m.

Police said a boy who appeared to be in his teens was dropped off at Bedford Middle School, but then left the campus and walked toward nearby Staples High School.

“The incident was deemed suspicious because at the time no one recognized this individual, and it was unknown what he was doing on school property,” police said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, the school’s superintendent placed both Bedford Middle School and Staples High School in a shelter in place status.”

Police said patrol officers responded to make sure students at both schools were safe and that detectives worked with school officials to identify the teen.

“It was ultimately determined that the person in question was in fact a Staples student,” police said. “The student was simply running late and after managing to get a ride to Bedford, he walked over to Staples.”

The shelter-in-place order was lifted at the two schools by 11 a.m. Thursday, Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice said.