Man booked in threats to schools

Shane Kersey
Shane Kersey

A Lafitte man has been accused of making threatening telephone calls to two West Bank schools that caused evacuations and police action Wednesday morning.

Shane Kersey, 35, was booked with two counts of terrorizing after police tracked him down by calling him back on the number that showed up after he left numerous ominous phone messages at Fisher Middle-High School in Lafitte and Marrero Academy for Advanced studies early Wednesday.

Kersey admitted to the calls but claims he made them to prevent someone else from transporting a combustible object to the campuses, said Col. John Fortunato, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.

Kersey admitted making calls to a total of four schools, two in Jefferson Parish and two in Plaquemines Parish, Fortunato said.

Investigators were able to arrest Kersey without incident at a friend’s home. When deputies found him, he had tin foil wrapped around his head, which he said was needed to prevent microwave signals from entering his brain, Fortunato said.

He said Kersey has a lengthy arrest history and was wanted in Plaquemines Parish on suspicion of simple burglary.

At Fisher, authorities said a man called and threatened to burn down the building and harm children. At Marrero Academy, a caller advised that he would do the same.

The threats sparked lockdowns and evacuations at the campus while the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted searches with bomb-sniffing dogs.

Fortunato said the parish’s 911 Centers received the threatening phone calls around 6:36 a.m. and 7:20 a.m.

No suspicious items were found during the searches, he said, and the schools were cleared for re-entry. However, some parents decided to remove their children for the day, he said.

Monica Pierre, a school system spokeswoman, said that students were diverted to Kerner Elementary School in Jean Lafitte and to Estelle Elementary School in Marrero. Marrero Academy was given the all-clear sign first, and Fischer came later because it is a larger campus and required more time to search, Fortunato said.