Police: Man shot rounds into tree, prompting shelter in place at Stoneham schools

STONEHAM, Mass. — A man shooting rounds into a tree in a backyard prompted two nearby schools to shelter in place and a massive law enforcement response to the neighborhood.

Thirteen shell casings were found near the tree. Police said they expect to file charges against the Malden man, whose gun was confiscated by police.

The man admitted to officers that he had taken part in a little target practice in his friend's back yard, and shot some rounds into a tree.

The State Police Air Wing unit and K-9 unit joined state and local police in their response to Karen Drive, after several 911 calls reported gunfire around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, police said.

Jeff Laridee said he was shocked when police surrounded his home.

"I walked out of my shed and there was an officer with an AR-15. They were everywhere and we were doing an oil change and they kept saying there were gunshots down here," said Laridee, who denied shooting any guns.

Laridee says the only thing he heard was a loud nail gun being used on a roof next door.

When officers arrived, they saw people running in the back yard, trying to hide a target stand and other items in a nearby shed, police said.

The incident prompted the high school and the middle school to shelter in place, meaning students and staff were not allowed to leave or enter the building during that time, Stoneham Superintendent of Schools John Macero said in a statement.

One student told Boston 25 News that they were in math class and heard gunshots.

"I thought it was a nail gun and then we heard 16 more," the student said.

The shelter in place was lifted shortly before 3 p.m.