FBI: Louisiana authorities respond to 106 school threats in 27 days

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Since the Valentine's Day shooting at a Florida high school, Louisiana law enforcement has responded to an average of nearly four threats a day.

In the 27 days after the shooting where 17 people were killed, 106 threats were made against schools and campuses across the state, according to numbers gathered by State Police and the FBI Field Office in New Orleans

One such threat made at the University of New Orleans forced officials to shut down the campus for most of Monday.

"It was appropriate. I don't think (UNO's administration) could have handled it any better," student Jeff Aguilar said.

"It really did caught me off guard. through everything that is happening right now, it really did alarm us. As a student, I really did feel scared for the safety of my fellow students," student Michael Angelo said.

New Orleans Police charged Nicholas Heard with terrorizing after he allegedly told two students he planned to shoot several people on UNO's campus.

"We have seen a wide variety of threats that have been made. Some of them are related to copy cats from the Florida shooting or from other shootings that have happened in and around the country," LSP spokesperson Melissa Matey said.

LSP is dealing with a number of threats made on social media, and some people who have seen those threats have shared them instead of reporting them, Matey said.

"If people see those threats they can email them directly to Louisiana State Police. They can let us know via our Facebook page. We do take private messages on there, and we will forward those threats over to the Louisiana Fusion Center.

Though some of the threats are unfounded, matey says all are taken seriously even if the person making the threats says it was a prank.

"If there is a threat that is made and we investigate it and the person that is found to make the threat says they are joking, that doesn't make a different. that is still terrorizing. It is part of the state's terrorizing state statue and they will be prosecuted," Matey said.

According to the FBI and LSP, police arrested 62 people since February 14, and they range from 11-years-old to 28-years-old.

The charge of terrorizing is a felony and carries up to 15 years in jail. In the cases where threats are made on social media, an addition five year sentence can be added for the federal charge of threatening interstate communications.

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