Teen jailed for gun in school

John Ruch

A Dorchester teen was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail last month for sneaking into English High School with a loaded handgun in 2008.

Walter West Jr. was 17 years old and a student at another high school at the time of the crime. An English High student let him and three other Dorchester teens into the school at 144 McBride St. on Nov. 20, 2008. The group of teens then got into an altercation with English High students.

Boston School Police broke up the altercation and found a fully loaded 9mm handgun in West’s backpack. The gun’s hammer was cocked, meaning the trigger needed only a slight touch to fire the weapon, according to prosecutors at the time.

West was convicted Feb. 24 on a variety of charges related to unlawfully carrying a gun on school grounds; unlawful possession of ammunition; and trespassing. The three other teens who also sneaked into English High that day were previously convicted of trespassing and sentenced to probation, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

Last month, Boston Police officers found a handgun hidden under a rock outside English High. A year ago, a Jamaica Plain man was wounded on the school’s football field bleachers outside of school hours after allegedly accidentally shooting himself with a sawed-off shotgun.

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