WEST MONROE, La. (12/03/2019)– Shell casings and shattered glass alerted a maintenance worker at Riverbend Elementary School to call the police.
“Video shows that there was a white male that shot 6 shots into the window, gained entry into the school,” Sergeant CJ Beck, with the West Monroe Police Dept, said.
West Monroe police say 36-year-old, Jeffrey Lee Smith from Monticello, Arkansas shot 6 rounds into the front door of the school.
“He was taking up positions as if he was waiting for someone to come,” Sgt. Beck said.
Smith shot a total of 19 rounds leaving damages to the ceiling, walls, doors, windows, and fire alarms. Police say they believe he shot the fire alarm to try and get the attention of law enforcement, but instead disabled the alarm. After 12 hours, he decided it was time to go home.
“Indeed he was waiting for first responders to come, he did not indicate what he was going to do, but watching the servaillance video, he was prepared with firearm and still had more ammunition if the police or fire arrived,” Sgt. Beck said.
“Detectives were able to follow some leads and we made an arrest on Monday afternoon,” Sgt. Beck added.
Police found Smith’s wallet with his Arkansas license in the bathroom leading law enforcement straight to him.
After questioning, Smith confessed. He was booked into the Ouachita Parish Correctional Center on aggravated burglary, possession of a fire arm in a school zone, and illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities. His bond has been set at $125,000.
“He didn’t give a clear motive of what led him to break into the school, he just wanted to make contact with law enforcement, and that’s how he wanted to do it,” Sgt. Beck said.
Officials want to stress that the situation has been handled and there are no current threats to the schools in our area. Officials also say this is why it is important to call the police when you see something strange or out of the ordinary, rather than investigating yourself.