Ascension Parish Sheriff STOCK _lowres

File Photo of Ascension Parish Sheriff's vehicle.

Prairieville Middle School went on lockdown Thursday after two men accused of a shooting fled nearby, authorities said.

Around 10 a.m., the two men fired multiple shots at each other near the Harvest grocery store and a Family Dollar store on La. 74 just south of Dutchtown public schools, said Donovan Jackson, Ascension sheriff’s spokesman.

Jackson said the shootings stemmed from a dispute between the men, not a robbery involving the stores. No one was injured, and the two men quickly fled the scene, headed northeast to Airline Highway.

That prompted deputies to ask Prairieville Middle School to go on lockdown while they searched for the men, school officials said. Two suspects were later arrested, and no others are being sought, deputies said.

Jackson said that given the number of shots fired in the commercial area, the situation could have been much worse.

Deputies did not ask Dutchtown Primary, Middle and High School, which are near where the shooting happened, to go on lockdown because the men quickly moved out of the proximity of those schools, school officials said.

The three schools sit near one another on La. 73 in Dutchtown, just north of La. 74 and near Interstate 10. Dutchtown Primary and Middle are next to each other on one side of La. 73, while across the highway is Dutchtown High.

Dutchtown High is the largest public high school in the state by student population.

Prairieville Middle, which is on La. 930 northeast of Airline, later had its lockdown lifted. 

"We appreciate the swift action of our local law enforcement partners to protect our students and staff," school officials said in a statement.


David J. Mitchell can be reached at dmitchell@theadvocate.com or followed on Twitter at @newsiedave.