Slidell police arrested 14-year-old and 12-year-old boys Monday morning after learning through a Crimestoppers tip that one of them had brought a loaded semi-automatic weapon to Slidell Junior High on Friday and the other one showed it students throughout the day, sometimes even pointing it at them.
Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal said he was concerned that it took so long for someone to come forward. Police received the tip Saturday night.
Investigators identified 12 students who saw the gun or knew that it was at the school, according to a news release.
One of the students told investigators that the 12-year-old boy pulled out the gun, pointed it at the student and pulled the slide back on the gun until it made a “click” sound. The boy allegedly showed the gun to several students throughout the day, none of whom notified school officials.
The 12-year-old also threatened some of the students through social media, police said.
The 14-year-old brought the weapon to school, but at some point the younger boy took possession of it, the release said.
The two boys were arrested Monday. The 14-year-old was booked on illegal possession of a handgun by a juvenile and illegal carrying of weapons on school property.
The 12-year-old was booked on terrorizing, aggravated assault with a firearm, cyberstalking, illegal possession of a handgun by a juvenile, and obstruction or interference with students of an educational institution.
Police are still investigating how the juveniles obtained the weapon.
“This incident is very disturbing to me," Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal said. "This incident could have had a much different outcome. We are grateful someone came forward with a Crimestoppers tip, but extremely concerned this wasn’t immediately reported to a school official or the school resource officer."
He said he hopes the incident sparks a conversation between parents and their children about the importance of reporting serious incidents.
St. Tammany Parish School Superintendent Trey Folse said the system contacted the Slidell police as soon as it received the tip and cooperated with the investigation.
Parents were notified by an automated call on Monday morning.