Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office

Update 11/19/2021, 11:45 a.m.: The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office said Thursday night that video surveillance footage showed the man deemed to be a lockdown threat had been unarmed.

Students and staff at Hammond Eastside Magnet School and Hammond High School went on lockdown Thursday afternoon after a man carrying a gun was seen walking near both schools' property, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office said. 

Sheriff's deputies were responding to the scene on Thursday afternoon, according to a statement Hammond Eastside posted on Facebook around 3:30 p.m. The school went on lockdown as a "precaution," postponing carpool and bus dismissal.

The sheriff's office later said that a man had appeared on Hammond Eastside's campus with a handgun. "A large law enforcement presence" including fire, sheriffs' deputies, police and Acadian Ambulance teams arrived at the scene, according to the sheriff's office, as both schools were locked down.

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Hammond Eastside and Hammond High are located about a quarter mile from each other on River Road.

By about 4:15, law enforcement had cleared the area and were allowing buses to pick students up from the campus.

Both schools were allowed to begin releasing students and staff around 4:45, said Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's chief Jimmy Travis. He said the sheriff's office had located the suspect but did not say whether the suspect had been arrested.

Hammond Eastside Magnet School and Hammond High together serve children of all age groups in Tangipahoa Parish's largest city.

James Finn writes for The Advocate as a Report For America corps member. Email him at JFinn@theadvocate.com or follow him on Twitter @RJamesFinn.

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