POSTED: Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 6:45pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 6:49pm
PLAQUEMINE'S PARISH, LA — Sheriff Lonnie Greco announces the arrest of a 15-year-old Plaquemines Parish School Board Learning Center student for carrying a firearm on a school bus yesterday afternoon.
On Wednesday, February 6, 2013, at approximately 3:30 p.m., the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office received a telephone call from a parent advising that his child observed another student on a school bus who was in possession of a pistol. Initially, it was believed that the students were still on the school bus with the weapon, but it was discovered that the students had already been dropped off.
The weapon was observed on the school bus at approximately 2:40 p.m.; however, the incident was reported to a parent immediately upon the witness’s arrival at home, almost an hour later.
The Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Bureau responded to the call and began an investigation into the incident, at which time it was discovered that there were two witnesses to the incident.
During the investigation, detectives learned that while on a Plaquemines Parish School Board school bus, a 15-year-old male student bragged to another student that he had a picture of a gun and that he had the weapon in his possession in his school bag. The 15-year-old then showed the witness a photograph of the gun. The 15-year-old subsequently gave the book bag containing the pistol to his 14-year-old brother, who in turn provided the school bag and weapon to a 16-year-old male student. At this time, the 16-year-old retrieved the pistol from the book bag and displayed it to other students while on the school bus. The witness asked the 16-year-old if the pistol was real, to which he said was.
The witness then asked the 16-year-old if a picture could be taken of him holding the gun, which he agreed to. After taking the photograph with a cellular telephone, the witness did not see the weapon anymore. The witness related that he/she was frightened and was afraid that the 16-year-old may shoot him/her or other students on the bus with the pistol.
Upon determining the identity of the 16-year-old, detectives went to his residence and subsequently conducted a search warrant for the weapon, which was not recovered. However, while on the scene, detectives learned that the 15-year-old who initially brought the gun to school lived across the highway and relocated to his residence. Detectives, along with a juvenile probation officer, met with the 15-year-old and his grandmother, at which time the weapon and school bag was recovered from within their residence. The recovered pistol was found to be a Crossman .177 caliber pellet gun, but resembled a .357 magnum revolver.
The 15-year-old and his grandmother then accompanied detectives to the Belle Chasse Criminal Investigations Bureau where he provided a taped statement, in which he confessed to showing the weapon to two of his friends and bringing the weapon to school, but that he had left it on the school bus the entire time.
Detectives then authored an arrest warrant for the 15-year-old relative to the investigation, which was signed by 25th Judicial District Court Judge Michael Clement.
At approximately 8:16 p.m., the 15-year-old was arrested for Louisiana Revised Statue 14:95.2, relative to carrying a firearm or dangerous weapon by a student on school property in a firearm-free zone.
The 15-year-old remains in custody without bond and has a magistrate hearing set for tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.
The Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office is not releasing the identity of the three students involved because they are juveniles. All three students are residents of Belle Chasse and students at the Plaquemines Parish School Board Learning Center located in Port Sulphur.
Sheriff Lonnie Greco would like to remind all students, parents and guardians that if a weapon is observed on any school property to immediately contact the Sheriff’s Office by dialing 911 or promptly report it to a school official. Additionally, tips concerning guns on school property can be reported anonymously to the Crimestoppers Safe School Hotline at (504) 822-1111 or 1-877-903-STOP. Furthermore, tips can be emailed to www.crimestoppersgno.org , texted by dialing 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S) and text TellCS then your crime information, or via the Crimestoppers Mobile App TipSubmit. The program offers a standing reward of approximately $500 for Crimestoppers hotline tips leading to the apprehension of an individual in possession of a firearm.