Student charged with possession of sawed-off shot gun

WINCHESTER — "It was a normal day at Winchester High School," said principal Thomas Gwin Monday morning in the wake of news over the weekend that a student pleaded not guilty in Woburn District Court Friday morning to multiple gun charges after he had been arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with possession of a sawed-off shot gun.

Gwin said in a telephone interview that he held an emergency faculty meeting early Friday morning to update the staff on the incident. Teachers were given statements to read to their first period classes Friday morning similar to a police press release issued to the local newspaper in the middle of the afternoon.

While Winchester Police have not released an incident report, news reports say that Kenneth Torlone Jr., 17, was arrested just before 2 p.m. last Thursday when he went to his parked car off campus.

According to reports, police also found ammunition with the sawed-off shot gun as well as other weapons at another location to which Torlone had access.

School officials reportedly said another student knew about the weapons and told a teacher who told police.

Gwin said Torlone has been suspended from school for the rest of the year. Gwin said state law allows a school principal to suspend a student accused of a felony until that charge has been resolved. He was released on bail and ordered to stay away from the high school.

A police press release refers to the investigation of possession of an illegal firearm.

"At no time was any student or staff member threatened or in harm's way. The cooperative effort between the schools and police department resulted in the removal of a dangerous weapon from the community," the release said.

"The proactive response to a potentially serious situation only strengthens the long commitment and partnership between the Winchester School Department and the Winchester Police Department."

© 2000 Woburn Daily Times Inc.