EBRSO: Girl tries to sell gun at Tara High; man arrested

A 16-year-old girl tried to sell an unloaded handgun at Tara High School on Wednesday, which set off a chain of events that ultimately led to the arrest of a 20-year-old man who tried to run over an East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputy, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

Deputies stopped Compton East, 20, of Baton Rouge, and shot him with a stun gun before arresting him near an apartment complex on South Harrell’s Ferry Road, said Casey Rayborn Hicks, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.

Deputies planned to book East, of Cottingham Court, into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on Wednesday on counts of resisting a police officer with force or violence, aggravated flight from an officer, aggravated damage to property, attempted aggravated battery, possession of marijuana and possession of a firearm with a controlled dangerous substance, Hicks said.

It’s still somewhat unclear how the firearm ended up in East’s possession, although deputies believe his younger brother, 18, may have played a role, Hicks said, adding that more arrests are pending.

Investigators did not release the names of the 16-year-old girl or 18-year-old boy involved in the incident.

About 10 a.m. Wednesday, the multi-agency School Drug Task Force responded to the school and found that the girl had taken a 9 mm handgun to school with an intent to sell the weapon, but that it later ended up in East’s possession, Hicks said.

Several hours later, authorities confronted East at the St. Jean Apartments near South Harrell’s Ferry Road and O’Neal Lane.

There, East is accused of crashing into a Sheriff’s Office patrol unit while trying to run over a deputy, Hicks said.

East eventually exited the vehicle and was soon apprehended, but not before tossing a backpack holding the handgun over a nearby fence. A search revealed East had a small amount of marijuana in his possession, Hicks said.

Keith Bromery, an East Baton Rouge Parish school system spokesman, said other students reported the gun’s presence on campus to administrators. That enabled school officials to quickly sniff out the gun’s location.

Once the Sheriff’s Office concludes its investigation, any students involved in the handling of the weapon at school will be subject to disciplinary action, Bromery said.