MANDEVILLE, La. (WVUE) -Mandeville residents are still reeling from Friday’s shooting that left one officer dead and another injured. Residents and business owners in the area say they were on high alert when they realized something was going on near their neighborhood.
Montessori Christian Academy was placed on lockdown after hearing of police activity in the area. The school is a five minute walk from where the shooting took place.
Owner and Director Peggy Voltolina says she ordered teachers to lock their classrooms and close their curtains before contacting parents. She says they do lockdown practices, but never expected anything like this to happen in the school’s backyard.
“It’s heartbreaking. You go into protection mode. And that’s what we did. Protection mode. Nobody is going to come here without going through us. And they’re gonna have to figure a way to get in here,” said Voltolina.
School leaders kept the school locked down until the last child left, and that took a little while due to the heavy traffic in the area and road closures.
Residents who live in Mandeville expressed their shock and grief.
They say they are sad for the family’s loss, but also a little uneasy. They say they live here because it’s safe.
“I was shocked. My son called me and told me. I was at work. It was just shocking because you don’t hear of that around here,” said Mandeville resident Leslie Bates.
“It’s a quiet town and it should stay like that. It’s just unbelievable to me,” said Chase Irwin.
At the Mandeville Police Department, a memorial is growing outside.
Residents extended their condolences to the family of the fallen officer, and say they’re hoping the injured officer has a speedy recovery.