SLIDELL, LA (FOX44) — Slidell Police Department officials say good communication between the Slidell Police Department and St. Tammany Parish school officials prevented a potential violent incident at Friday night's Slidell High School versus Covington High School basketball game.
Friday afternoon, officials from the St. Tammany Parish School Board contacted the Slidell Police Department and made them aware that students were overheard talking about a potential altercation that could take place at the Slidell High School basketball game Friday night.
In response to the potential threats, Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith assigned additional officers and plain-clothes detectives to monitor the basketball game. Officers received a tip stating that a spectator, Steven Warren, 18, was seen with a gun in his jacket earlier in the night. Warren was quickly detained and questioned about the gun. Detectives subsequently located a fully loaded .38 caliber handgun in a vehicle parked outside of the Slidell High School gym. It was discovered that Warren came to the basketball game with Rico Bedford, 19, and Terrence Bedford, 18 (cousins), who were both, at some point last night, also in possession of the weapon. Detectives were told by at least two of the suspects that once they saw the overwhelming police presence, the decision was made to keep the gun in the car.
Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith and St. Tammany Parish School Board Superintendent Trey Folse released a joint statement:
“Good communication, and observant law enforcement and school officials, were instrumental in preventing a potentially dangerous situation at Slidell High School. We want to reassure our citizens that our schools are safe. The safety of our schools and students is a number one priority.”
All three suspects, who are from the Covington area and who are not current students, were placed under arrest and charged with Louisiana Revised Statute 14:95.2 (Carrying a firearm or dangerous weapon by a student or nonstudent on school property, at school-sponsored functions, or in a firearm-free zone).