FBI: Suspect threatened to open fire with an AK-47 at La Porte school


by KHOU.com staff & Sherry Williams / KHOU 11 News


Posted on October 25, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 25 at 5:40 PM

LA PORTE, Texas – A dozen La Porte ISD schools were put on lockdown Friday after an ominous threat was phoned into a tip line.

The man claimed he was going to open fire at a school with an AK-47, according to the FBI.

"The caller basically said they were going to make a shooting at one of the elementary schools with an AK 47 and then hung up," said Sgt. John Krueger with the La Porte Police Department.

La Porte ISD sent an alert to parents and locked down all its schools.

"They just told us there was a shelter-in-place at the high school, and we were locked down for over two and a half hours. It was crazy," said Gomez Arratia, a high school student.

Deer Park schools were also on alert because of their close proximity to La Porte.

FBI, Homeland Security, La Porte police, Harris County, Deer Park and five other police agencies teamed up to track down the caller. They combined high-tech methods with some good old-fashioned police work and had a suspect in custody by noon.

Investigators traced the call to the Holiday Inn on Highway 146 in La Porte. They found the suspect in a fourth floor room where they say he made the call around 3 a.m.

"The SWAT officers immediately surrounded the room. The individual emerged from the room, at which point he was taken into custody without incident," Sgt. Krueger said.

No weapons were found inside his room.

Many parents in the La Porte ISD were alarmed by the vague alert and frustrated by the lack of information, but when it was over they were relieved.

"My son goes here. You never would think your own son’s school," said Mary Diaz. "But sure, when you least expect it, something like this happens. Gives me chills."

"That’s a pretty big deal. I mean any gun though is a big deal," said Janette Walls. "You drop your kids off, you leave ‘em here; you kind of hope that nothing’s wrong, that you don’t get those 80 million calls while you’re working."

Police patrols were beefed up at all La Porte schools until the suspect was in custody.

The suspect’s identity has not been released.