A suspect has been booked in this morning’s shooting near Westside Elementary.
Eldridge Thomas Jr., 30, was booked with attempted second-degree murder, home invasion and aggravated flight from an officer, records at LPCC show. No bond has been set for his release.
The incident began at about 7:30 a.m., just as children were arriving at Westside Elementary to begin school. The school’s resource officer heard gunshots and radioed to Scott Police, and an officer arrived so quickly that he was able to see the suspect driving away from the scene in his truck, jail records show.
When the officer arrived, the resource officer ran up to him to point out the truck, and the officer gave chase, the records show. Another Scott Officer joined the chase, and the suspect vehicle passed a car on Sunset to turn onto Cameron Street. When the suspect turned onto Apollo, there were Sheriff’s Deputies waiting, blocking the road. As the suspect passed the deputies, he allegedly fired at them, and they fired back. A bullet crashed into the Scott officer’s windshield, cutting his arm, hand and face.
The chase continued onto St. Mary Street and La. 93, and that’s where traffic stopped the suspect, the records show.
Officers surrounded him, and pulled their weapons, demanding he get out of the truck, the records show. That’s when the suspect got out of his truck and was arrested, the records show. A press release from Scott Police says there was another person, identified as a relative of the suspect’s, in the truck at the time.
Officers also were interviewing witnesses, who said they saw Thomas, who lives on Marina Loop, arguing in the front yard of a neighbor, who also lives on Marina Loop. Thomas allegedly shot the neighbor in the buttocks and thigh while the man was standing on his own driveway. The victim ran inside his home, with Thomas allegedly chasing him and still shooting, the records show.
Investigators found bullet casings, bullet holes and blood throughout the victim’s home, the records show.
Earlier today, KATC TV3’s Josh Meny spoke to a witness.
The woman, who asked not to be identified, was walking her children to nearby Westside Elementary when she saw one of her neighbors shooting at another neighbor.
“I got my kids and took off back to the house, just in shock. This doesn’t happen,” she said of the neighborhood.
The witness told us that she could hear children at the school screaming.
“I’m sure they heard it too,” she said of the gunfire. “There were some kids getting off the bus; they were screaming.”
The witness said the resource officer came running; we know he called in the shooting.
The witness told us that it was just seconds before she heard sirens.
“They were there so quick,” she said. “I’m very proud of Scott Police.”
The Marina Loop shooting forced Westside Elementary School to go on lock down. The school will provide counseling to students who need it after today’s incident.
“We do have an on-staff counselor. She has already gone around our classrooms several times throughout the day. Any student that needed it, she provided support,” explained Principal Lisa Thomas.
LPSS CAO Joe Craig said the system is ready to send extra counselors to the school. If any parents feel their children may need to talk to someone about what happened, they should ask for help at the school, he said.
We’ll have more on this incident tonight on the news.