A 15-year-old male student at Isidore Newman School was arrested Thursday (March 30) in connection with threats of violence made on social media that forced the school to close for the remainder of the week, the New Orleans Police Department said.
Watch below video of the press conference with NOPD Second District Commander Shaun Ferguson discussing the arrest.
(Poor quality video (our apologies) from the NOPD discussing the incident. Courtesy of NOLA .com via Facebook)
Someone posted a photograph on Snapchat on Wednesday morning that showed several guns laid out on a bed along with the statement, “Don’t come to school tomorrow,” police said.
School officials were notified of the threat that same evening, after which they chose to close the facility. The next morning, at around 8:30 a.m. the school alerted police to the threat.
Detectives later obtained a warrant to search the home of the 15-year-old student, where they found three rifles and a shotgun, according to NOPD.
The weapons, which matched those in the online photograph, belong to the student’s father, police said.
The juvenile was arrested and booked into the Juvenile Bureau with one count each of terrorizing, intimidation and interference in the operation of schools, all felonies, police said.
Ferguson said that as of now there are no indications other people were involved in the threat.
The student’s parents, who didn’t have prior knowledge of the crime, said their son didn’t have a history of being bullied or angry at the school, Ferguson said.
The Snapchat threat comes about eight months after an alumnus was arrested for spraying threatening graffiti on the school’s walls.
That alumnus, Peter Curtis, pleaded not guilty Feb. 13. A trial date has not been set.
Curtis was initially charged with seven counts of criminal mischief and one count of terrorizing, a felony.
Court records show a January bill of information formally charging him with the seven counts criminal damage to property excluded the terrorizing charge.
Authorities said Curtis defaced several areas of Newman’s campus with “threatening and vulgar” graffiti, delaying the start of the school year. He was also charged with vandalizing at St. George’s School and other Uptown locations.
Staff writers Emily Lane, Jonathan Bullington and Danielle Dreilinger contributed to this report.