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Additional juvenile suspect arrested in connection to Hammond High graduation shooting that injured 4 last month

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 9:08 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2022 at 4:10 PM CDT
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HAMMOND, La. (WVUE) - A juvenile has been arrested in connection to the shooting that injured four at Hammond High’s graduation that took place at the SLU University Center last month, according to Hammond police.

The 15-year-old suspect is the second person arrested for the shooting on May 19 as families walked back to their cars after the graduation ceremony ended.

The juvenile was booked for illegally carrying a weapon by a juvenile, illegal possession of a stolen firearm, possession of heroin, possession of cocaine, possession of a schedule I substance with intent to distribute, and resisting arrest.

Three people were shot and a fourth person was injured when gunfire broke out at a high school’s graduation on Southeastern Louisiana University’s campus Thurs., May 19.

Hammond High Magnet was graduating at SLU’s University Center and families were leaving the activity center around 8:15 p.m. when superintendent Melissa Stilley says the shots rang out.

Shortly after the shooting, the first suspect, Trent Thomas, 20, of Hammond, was arrested. Thomas was booked for three counts of attempted second-degree murder, obstruction of justice, aggravated damage to property, and possession of a firearm on a gun-free campus.

Trent Thomas, 20, of Hammond, is accused of opening fire at Hammond High School's graduation...
Trent Thomas, 20, of Hammond, is accused of opening fire at Hammond High School's graduation ceremony, injuring three innocent bystanders.(TPSO)

In a press conference Friday morning, Hammond Police Chief Edwin Bergeron says the shooting stemmed from a possible gang-affiliated altercation between Thomas and a group of people, specifically one unidentified juvenile, a former Hammond High student.

Police said suspected gang violence led to the shooting at the Hammond High graduation that wounded three people.

Three innocent bystanders were wounded by the gunfire and a fourth was injured trying to escape, Bergeron said. All of the victims’ injuries appeared to be non-life-threatening.

“This was a cowardly act. We have got to end this,” Bergeron said. “My thoughts go out to the families who had to deal with this and will carry this memory as they remember this graduation.”

Cell phone video circulated on social media shows crowds fleeing just after the shots were fired.

As of Friday morning, three victims had been released from the hospital and the fourth victim remained in stable condition.

All-clear on SLU campus after active shooter situation

Bergeron said it doesn’t appear Thomas has any criminal history, but “we know the people he’s affiliated with,” he said.

Thomas is being held at the Tangipahoa Parish Jail in Amite.

Louisiana senators John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy tweeted in the moments following the shooting, issuing prayers and condemning the “senseless violence.”

If you have any information about the shooting, you’re asked to call 1-800-554-5245.

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