Former Iota student arrested after entering school disguised and armed

By: Howell Dennis - Editor
IOTA - A 21-year-old former Iota High School student walked onto the school’s campus Tuesday morning wearing a mask, a wig and a belt with knives and an ax hanging from it causing both schools to be locked down.

The former student, identified as Garrett West of Basile, at first went to the high school and knocked on IHS Principal Gibson Miller’s door. When he got no answer, he went inside Iota Middle School where he was headed off by Principal Debra Siebert when she saw him.

“When she saw him, she asked him to remove his weapons and his mask, which he did,” said Acadia School Superintendent John E. Bourque.

Once he did she realized it was West, who was a former student.

“He was actually very cooperative,” said Bourque. “He sat down and talked to the principal and told her he was depressed and ‘nobody ever listened to him.’ He told her ‘maybe they’d have listened to me now.’”

“We have things in place for this type of incident,” he added. “Today it worked well.”

Bourque was also very impressed by Siebert’s actions in calming the man down.

“Her actions were quite heroic,” he said.

West was taken into custody by the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office where he’ll be charged with two counts of terrorism. The lock down ended at approximately 1 p.m.

The Post-Signal will have more on this incident should details become available.

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