Maya Rodriguez / Eyewitness News
MANDEVILLE, La. - Three Northshore students are in custody after investigators said they planned a shooting at a high school on Monday. The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office said all three are 15-year-old boys and that their plans were carefully laid out, with the intent to kill.
The three 15-year-old students dubbed their group 'Day Zero' and planned to acquire a number of guns and bring them to Lakeshore High School, near Lacombe,on Monday-- the first day of school.
'In my nearly 30 years in law enforcement, in this parish, this is the most advanced plan that I have seen to date that was, or potentially was, a threat to our school kids,' said St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain.
Investigators collected information off computers at the student's homes. They said the plans included targeting at least one student at the school and killing any law enforcement officer who would have responded to the scene.
Other students tipped off a school administrator about the plan, who then notified the St. Tammany Parish School System and, in turn, the Sheriff's Office.
'We had students step up, do the right thing, gave us the information and helped us possibly avert something,' said St. Tammany School Superintendent Trey Folse.
The discovery of the alleged plot comes after the school system mounted a public service campaign, aimed at discouraging students from even joking about a violent plot at school.
'All these kinds of threats are serious in nature and that you need to make sure that anything you say can't be misinterpreted or taken the wrong way,' Folse said.
The three 15-year-olds remain in custody at the Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center. Each faces one count of conspiracy to commit terrorism. The sheriff's office said the three teens have been cooperating with the investigation and have not denied their involvement in the planned violence.
Additional deputies will be dispatched to Lakeshore High on Monday, but authorities said they are confident everyone involved in the alleged plot has been arrested.