• Search

3 Shot After Multiple Gunmen Open Fire Outside Louisiana High School Graduation Ceremony

Hammond, LA – At least two gunmen opened fire outside a high school graduation ceremony on Thursday night, wounding three people in an attack police said may have been gang-related.

The shooting occurred outside Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU) University Center as hundreds of people were leaving the Hammond High School graduation ceremony shortly after 8 p.m. on May 19, WWL reported.

Investigators said a suspect and a juvenile got into a confrontation outside the venue just before gunfire erupted.

They said they believe there were at least two shooters and said the incident may have been gang related, WWL reported.

At least 10 shots were fired.

Three people were shot and a fourth was injured while trying to flee to safety, according to police.

Investigators said the wounded victims were all innocent bystanders who had nothing to do with the initial confrontation, WWL reported.

Two of the three people who were shot had been released from the hospital as of Friday morning, Hammond Police Chief Edwin Bergeron told reporters during a press conference.

The remaining hospitalized victim was in stable condition, WWL reported.

“We were fortunate that some of the people at the graduation were law enforcement and medical people who began to give aid,” Chief Bergeron noted.

Police tracked down one of the alleged shooters within minutes of the attack, WWL reported.

He has been identified as 20-year-old Trent Thomas.

Thomas was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on three counts of attempted second-degree murder, possession of firearm on a gun-free campus, aggravated damage to property, and obstruction of justice, WAFB reported.

Police said additional arrests are likely.

“This is supposed to be a day where everybody is happy, where families are proud of their kids,” SLU Police Chief Michael Beckner told WWL. “They don’t have that memory of the joyous occasion. They have the memory of people running and shots being fired in the parking lot.”

Tangipahoa Parish Schools Superintendent Melissa Stilley agreed, noting that it was “sad that it ended” in such a “violent way,” WWL reported.

“We want justice to be served in this situation,” Stilley said. “Graduation is a very special time for our seniors and families.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


Sign up to our daily newsletter so you don't miss out on the latest events surrounding law enforcement!

Follow Me

Follow us on social media and be sure to mark us as "See First."