A 14-year-old student of Lusher Charter School, who threatened a mass shooting at the school, was arrested last week after his mother turned him over to the police. His father was also arrested later.
Students at the New Orleans school informed administrators on Dec. 14 — the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre — that Wyatt Johnston allegedly said he planned to “shoot the school up” the next day. The staff quickly contacted the New Orleans Police Department to look into the threats, who then prepared an arrest warrant based on charges of terrorizing.
New Orleans Police Commander Shaun Ferguson said officers initially searched for the boy without success. They then called his father to arrange for surrender. Arthur Johnston set up a meeting to hand over his son but later “explicitly” told the police he would not turn his son in. In fact, he threatened the cops, telling them “something would happen to the officers if they stepped on his property.”
On Friday, the NOPD obtained a search warrant for his home and found at least 10 guns, including rifles, shotguns and handguns, registered to the elder Johnston. They also found some marijuana and drug paraphernalia at the home.
On Monday morning, the teen’s mother took him to the NOPD Juvenile Division to be booked. His father later turned himself over to the 2nd District police station.
Wyatt Johnston is now being charged with “terrorizing” — the communication of information that a violent crime “is imminent or in progress” or a situation exists “with the intent of causing members of the general public to be in sustained fear for their safety; or causing evacuation of a building, a public structure, or a facility of transportation; or causing other serious disruption to the general public.” The felony carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years and a $15,000 fine.
Arthur Johnston will face charges for possessing guns while in possession of drugs, for issuing threats to law enforcement officers and for serving as an accessory to his son’s terrorizing crime after he refused to hand him over to the police when he learned of his crimes.
He remained in the New Orleans Justice Center jail in lieu of bond set at $47,750, according to jail records.
Before the two were arrested, parents, students and staff at Lusher Charter School were on edge, since the threats were reported on the day of Sandy Hook Elementary School’s shooting fifth anniversary.
However, Ferguson said it was not confirmed whether that was the motivation for the threats. He also praised the students who immediately warned the school of the threats.
“If you see something, say something,” Ferguson said.
However, the question remains where these two people were radicalized and why nobody is talking about this form of domestic terrorism.
Where were they radicalized?— Khary Penebaker (@kharyp) December 19, 2017
Several guns found in home of teen who threatened to 'shoot up' Lusher school. The 14yo student & his father, 52yo Arthur Johnston, were in police custody Monday morning after the teen's mother turned him in to authorities https://t.co/JAvJMXsliw pic.twitter.com/KGm5HKYqxP
So Lusher Charter School is now looking to arrest a student who called a terrorist threat into the school.— The Sage (@12GageSage) December 17, 2017
B-but, who could've done this?
"Was it a Muslim student?"
"It must've been a black kid?"
Get tf off my page.
It was a white kid, and it surprised no one.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office