SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass. (CNN) – A teacher in Massachusetts was arrested Thursday after leaving live ammunition in his school building’s stairwell to prove the school needed to get metal detectors, police said.
Police said Southbridge High School teacher Alfred J. Purcell III told the staff he found a live round of 9mm ammunition in a stairwell at the school shortly after 8 a.m.
The building was immediately placed on lockdown for about an hour.
But police said security video later showed that Purcell himself dropped the bullet on the floor of the stairwell before quickly leaving the area.
He returned about 10 minutes later and appeared to take a picture of the bullet with his cellphone. He then used his school-issued radio to call for help from the school administration and resource officer, according to police.
Investigators said Purcell admitted he planted the bullet to prove the school needs to install metal detectors.
Purcell’s defense attorney, however, said there was no such admission, but instead simply a misunderstanding, and that Purcell did not plant the bullet in the stairwell, WBZ reports.
Police said they later searched Purcell’s car and found 102 live rounds of ammunition for a .20-gauge shotgun in his trunk on the school grounds.
Authorities also discovered that Purcell’s license to carry a firearm was expired in Connecticut, where he resides.
Purcell was charged with two counts of the unlawful possession of ammunition and two counts of carrying ammunition on school grounds. He also faces charges of disturbing a school assembly, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.
Purcell has been ordered to stay away from the school, WCVB reports.
Prior to Thursday’s incident, the school had told Purcell his contract wasn’t being renewed for next year, according to WCVB.