Well that’s ONE way to get fired.

In Southbridge, Massachusetts a teacher is accused of leaving ammunition in a school stairwell on Thursday morning… then calling police to report it.

Alfred Purcell III

Alfred Purcell III – Courtesty, Southbridge Police Department.


Alfred Purcell III is a 57-year-old high school biology teacher at Southbridge High School.  He’s from Woodstock, Connecticut. 

Police say that on Thursday morning, he reported to staff that he had just found one live round of 9 mm ammunition in the rear stairwell.

The school was immediately placed on lockdown.

During that lockdown, police were called in.  They and Southbridge High School staff reviewed video footage and saw Purcell in the video.  Police say he removed the live round of ammunition from his pocket, dropped it on the floor and quickly left the area. 

Police: Teacher planted live ammo at school then called cops

Screenshot: school security footage.


Police say that the video shows Purcell standing over the ammo about 10 minutes later and taking a picture of it with a cellphone.

According to officers, he then used a school-issued portable radio to request assistance in the stairwell from the school administration and school resource officer.

Police: Teacher planted live ammo at school then called cops

Screenshot: School security footage


Shortly after, he returned to his class with his students during the lockdown, which lasted about an hour.

“There was no kids that were injured, nobody was seriously impacted by this other than we went into a lockdown for an hour and we had to investigate a teacher who was doing things he shouldn’t be doing,” said Chief Shane Woodson of the Southbridge Police Department.

A short time later, Purcell was arrested at the school.  According to police, he admitted to intentionally dropping the live round of ammunition in the stairwell to “prove to the school that they needed to get metal detectors.”

Police: Teacher planted live ammo at school then called cops

Screenshot: School security footage.

Police officers said they detected the faint odor of an alcoholic beverage on Purcell’s breath, but he denied consuming any alcoholic beverages.

“This individual acted in a disgusting manner. I feel very badly for our students because it is an adult who failed them,” said Jeffrey Villar, the superintendent. 

Police searched Purcell’s vehicle and found 102 live rounds of .20 gauge shot gun ammunition in the trunk.

Unfortunately for him, Purcell’s license to carry a firearm was expired in Connecticut, police said.

Ammo recovered by police (Photo credit: Southbridge police)

He was charged with two counts of the unlawful possession of ammunition, two counts of carrying ammunition on school grounds, disturbing a school assembly, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace… and has been since ordered to stay away from the school.

Even before this incident happened on Thursday, the school had said his contract wouldn’t be renewed.  He’s now on leave from the school and also being held on $500 cash bail after his arraignment Thursday at Dudley District Court.