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'High School Musical 3' Actor Arrested In Dorchester Shootout

DORCHESTER (CBS)-- Boston Police say the man who has worked on big projects like High School Musical 3 was at the center of a shootout with officers.

He appears alongside Zac Efron in High School Musical 3, and has hobnobbed with the likes of Denzel Washington and Robert Downey Jr. Now 21-year-old actor Justin Martin lists the Dorchester District Courthouse as the site of his latest appearance.

A couple of officers with the Boston Police Youth Violence Strike Force came upon Martin in Dorchester Tuesday night.

"They were in the area of Washington Street, Bowdoin Street area, when they heard what they believed to be was shots being fired," said Boston Police Commissioner William Evans. "They turned the corner onto Bowdoin Street, and there, sure enough, was a kid pointing a handgun at them."

As they chased Martin and two others, one of those suspects opened fire and officers shot back. No one on either side was hit, but a nearby home is riddled with bullet holes-- leaving neighbors startled.

Justin Martin
Actor Justin Martin in Dorchester District Court (WBZ-TV)

"It's dangerous," said one neighbor. "It's a dangerous situation. Anyone with a gun is a dangerous situation."

In court, Martin's defense attorney insisted it wasn't him who fired the shots, and pointed to his Hollywood success. And now he has a new role--in Boston's struggle with street violence.

"It just shows the dangers out there, and how many guns are out there," said Commissioner Evans. "The only good thing to come out of that last night was that no one was hurt, especially my officers."

According to the police report, after an officer fired at Martin, the actor was taken to the ground and handcuffed. Police recovered two loaded handguns at the scene.

Martin is from Georgia, but is living in L.A. now. His mother lives in Massachusetts, which is presumably what he was doing in this area--now facing some serious charges here.

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