12-year-old, 14-year-old arrested for having loaded gun at Slidell Junior High
SLIDELL, La. — A Crimestoppers tip has led to two Slidell Junior High students being arrested for bringing a loaded semi-automatic handgun to school on Friday (December 1).
Slidell Police said they are grateful for the tip, but officials are disturbed at how long it took for the incident to be reported.
Police Chief Randy Fandal said hopes this incident sparks conversations with parents and their children about the importance of reporting incidents in the future.
Almost 24 hours after the fact, this past Saturday night, Slidell Police received a Crimestoppers tip stating that a 12-year-old student brought a loaded semi-automatic handgun to Slidell Junior High School on Friday.
Detectives began investigating the tip and spent numerous hours interviewing witnesses and victims of the incident.
So far, Slidell Police have identified 12 students who physically saw the gun or had knowledge of the gun being at school on Friday. One of the students disclosed to investigators that the 12-year-old suspect pulled the gun out in on campus, pointed it at them and pulled the slide back on the gun until it made a “click” sound.
The suspect allegedly showed the gun to several students throughout the day, none of whom notified school officials or the school resource officer.
The 12-year-old student went even further and began threatening some of the students through social media, police said.
Investigators discovered that a 14-year-old student initially brought the gun to school on Friday. At some point, the 12-year-old student took possession of the gun from the 14-year-old.
Monday, both students were arrested and booked into the Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center on the following charges:
14-year-old juvenile: Illegal Possession of a Handgun by a Juvenile and Illegal Carrying of Weapons on School Property
12-year-old juvenile: Terrorizing, Aggravated Assault with a Firearm, Cyberstalking, Illegal Possession of a Handgun by a Juvenile, and Obstruction or Interference with Students of an Educational Institution
The method in which the juveniles obtained the firearm is still under investigation, as well as the motive behind the incident.
“This incident is very disturbing to me,” Fandal said. “Thankfully no one was physically hurt, but this incident could have had a much different outcome. We are grateful someone came forward with a Crimestoppers tip, but extremely concerned this wasn’t immediately reported to a school official, or the school resource officer. We are hoping this sparks a conversation between parents and their children about the importance of reporting serious incidents. If you see something, say something. We take every complaint serious, especially when it involves children in our schools.”
“As soon as the School System received the Crimestoppers tip, administrators contacted the Slidell Police Department, and assisted with the investigation in every way possible,” said St. Tammany Parish Schools Superintendent Trey Folse. “We always encourage students to report any type of safety concerns to a teacher, administrator or School Resource Officer. Safety is our top priority, and we take every report of a threat seriously. Our School System is committed to open communication, so the principal of the school notified parents of the incident through a phone call on Monday. School personnel continue to be available for students and parents who have questions or concerns about this incident.”