DANVERS — Just days after a school shooting in Connecticut left 20 children dead, a Danvers teenager allegedly wrote “Everyone dies 12/19/12” on a bathroom wall at Manchester Essex Regional High School, according to officials.
Gabriel Lambert, 17, of 86 Collins St., Danvers, a student at the Manchester school, was arraigned Thursday afternoon in Salem District Court on charges of threats, vandalism and disturbing a school.
After being held overnight at Middleton Jail, Lambert was released from custody at the courthouse yesterday morning after being fitted with a GPS monitoring bracelet, one of the conditions of his release set by Judge Matthew Machera while the case is pending. He was also ordered to remain confined to his home and will be required to undergo a mental health evaluation.
Lambert pleaded not guilty to the charges and has denied being the author of the threats, which he reported to school officials on the morning of Dec. 18, 2012, four days after the Newtown shootings.
His father, Frederic Lambert, in an emotional interview, said police have accused the wrong person and authorities are overreacting because of the Connecticut shootings.
“I asked my son; he told me he didn’t do it,” said Lambert. “We stand by him. He’s just 17 years old. He has never done something bad, he has good grades, his teachers love him. He went to the bathroom, he saw the threats. He told me he went to the office.”
The messages, in the second-floor boys bathroom, included the phrases “Everyone dies 12/19/12. No Mercy,” and “Don’t obey their policies.”
School officials contacted police immediately after Lambert reported finding the messages. They also notified parents in a letter, and cancelled after-school activities.
That afternoon, Manchester-by-the-Sea police conducted a sweep of the Lincoln Street campus, and found nothing suspicious.
The following day, 125 students were absent, compared with a typical 35 to 50 absences at the 486-student school.