BATON ROUGE – Governor John Bel Edwards gave an update on the developing situation at Hammond Square during a press conference about Tropical Storm Cristobal and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in Louisiana.
Edwards said he was briefed on the situation just before the start of the 2:30 p.m. press conference. Louisiana State Police Troopers responded to an incident at Hammond Square around noon on June 5, Edwards said.
Early reports that there was an active shooter at that site proved to be false.
“One thing that went out that seems to have been inaccurate: it was never an active shooter situation,” Edwards said. “You have an event where an individual – and we believe it was one, although there are some indications there might have been someone else involved – who drove a vehicle into the Target store in Hammond Square, and exited the store, was quickly taken into custody by local law enforcement. There was at least one suspicious package that was left in the store.”
State Police investigators are working to determine if that package presents any danger to the public, and it will be neutralized if so, Edwards said.
The initial investigation has indicated that the incident was not connected to public protests and demonstrations that have been held across the state this week.
“Although I don’t entirely rule that out, I think there may have been another cause for this,” Edwards said. “It’s obviously not one that is justified, but it could have been motivated by something totally different.”