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3 bystanders shot, another victim trampled after gunfire erupted at Hammond graduation | #schoolshooting


HAMMOND – Three innocent bystanders were shot after an argument turned into gunfire as students and family members were leaving a high school graduation Thursday night. A fourth victim was hurt in the ensuing stampede as people fled for safety.  

The shooting happened around 8 p.m. as crowds were filing out of the University Center at Southeastern Louisiana University’s campus following Hammond High’s graduation ceremony.

Police said no students were shot, and none were involved in the confrontation. 

Hammond Police Chief Edwin Bergeron identified the suspect as 20-year-old Trent Thomas. He faces charges of attempted second-degree murder, obstruction of justice, aggravated damage to property and possessing a firearm in a school zone.

Thomas was taken into custody shortly after the shooting and was questioned overnight. The Hammond Police Department said the confrontation was gang-related and that they believe at least one other person fired shots. Chief Bergeron added that more arrests are likely.

An eyewitness said she found her daughter in the crowd at 8:16 p.m. “And (we were) on the phone with 911 at 8:17,” the witness said, adding that she ran back inside while calling police.

The witness said it appeared one victim, a man, was shot in the stomach. Another person was shot in the hand.

Three of the victims were released from the hospital as of Friday morning, and the fourth remained hospitalized in stable condition. 

Superintendent Melissa Stilley said Hammond High students will have a virtual day Friday and will not report to the school’s campus. 



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