Gonzales PD says no weapon found at East Ascension High; juvenile charged with terrorizing

GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - Gonzales Police Chief Sherman Jackson says no weapon was found on the campus of East Ascension High School during the arrest of a student Friday. A juvenile was charged with terrorizing after a potential threat to the school was reportedly made.

Jackson confirmed to WAFB's Donna Britt that the juvenile who was arrested is a male student at the school. The department had initially refused to say whether the juvenile had a weapon or if he was a student. Jackson says the student made a threatening comment that was reported to administrators.

The suspect has been transported to the St. Bernard Parish Juvenile Detention Center. That facility has a contract with Ascension Parish to house both male and female juvenile inmates.

Two students at the school say they were told the case involves a male student, who allegedly told another student he planned to cause trouble at the school.

The student was charged with terrorizing, which is legally defined as:

The intentional communication of information that the commission of a crime of violence is imminent or in progress or that a circumstance dangerous to human life exists or is about to exist, with the intent of causing members of the general public to be in sustained fear for their safety.

Police say the school was not placed on lockdown and that school officials said classes were ongoing.

"As this involves a juvenile, the City of Gonzales Police Department has made a decision to release no further information about that juvenile at this time," officials said in a press release earlier in the day. "As there is still an ongoing investigation, we will also not be releasing any further information about the incident."

Investigators say following the deadly school shooting in Florida and other incidents around the county, the Gonzales Police Department has increased its presence at all schools in the city.

The Ascension Parish School Board reports the following message was sent out:

Dear Parents,

Later in the evening, Ascension school officials sent out the following release:

Good evening Spartans. I would like to follow up with additional information regarding the situation on our campus today concerning the investigation of a threat. In the course of the morning and early afternoon, the City of Gonzales Police Department began conducting an investigation, and one male student has been arrested on the charge of Terrorizing. He has been transported to the St. Bernard Parish Juvenile Detention Center. Police investigators have confirmed that there was never a weapon brought onto campus.

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