Hammond Police charge Ponch. man with terrorism
HAMMOND---A suspect is in custody as police continue to investigate several cases of suspicious packages in and around the Hammond area Friday.
Hammond Police Chief Edwin Bergeron, Jr., described the case as a “fluid situation,” with packages being investigated at four scenes in the Hammond area.
The Chief said authorities believe the situation is “contained” and he said they have a suspect in custody.
Earlier Friday a vehicle drove into the front doors of the Target store at Hammond Square. Social media reports vary about what the suspect did; however, authorities flooded the scene and within a short time, Louisiana State Police reported that a suspect had been taken into custody.
In a press briefing near the Hammond Square campus mid-afternoon Friday, Bergeron said the individual did not have a weapon, but police did recover “one device on his person.”
“We believe he acted alone,” Bergeron told the press Friday, adding, “I believe our citizens of Hammond are safe.”
Police continue to investigate “multiple locations” on the Hammond Square campus. Barricades have been posted to keep traffic out of the area. Bergeron said the “entire Hammond Square area” has been evacuated as the investigation continues.
Bergeron was quick to say this was not an active shooter situation. He also said no shots were fired either by the suspect nor by police, contrary to reports that were circulating heavily on social media Friday afternoon.
In addition to Hammond Police, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police, and many other law enforcement agencies are involved in this investigation, Bergeron said.