14-year-old accused of fatally shooting 16-year-old schoolmate in alleged bullying incident

Francis Akhalbey September 15, 2023
Vernon Gordon Jr., 16, was fatally shot by a 14-year-old schoolmate -- Photo via Facebook

Authorities in Greensburg, Louisiana, said a 14-year-old student brought a gun to campus and fatally shot a 16-year-old schoolmate. Per WBRZ, the Tuesday incident occurred at St. Helena College & Career Academy, and two other students sustained injuries from the violence.

The student who succumbed to his injuries was identified as 16-year-old Vernon Gordon Jr., an 11th-grade student-athlete at the school. Vernon Jr. was the school’s principal’s nephew while his father was the football team’s assistant coach, WAFB reported.

“The motive appears to have been from bullying and the investigation of course is still ongoing,” St. Helena Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Joe Cheney said. But authorities did not provide details on who the bullying victim was and the number of students involved.

WBRZ also reported that in the wake of the incident, a teenager who sustained multiple gunshot wounds went to the parish hospital and informed staff that someone had shot him at school and other people were also injured. 

Tuesday’s violence is said to have left Greensburg residents shaken. “Our parish was shaken yesterday to the core of our hearts because we’re a close-knitted family and we stand together ready to help anyone,” Chief Deputy Cheney said. 

The school canceled classes on Wednesday and Thursday as well as a football game and a school board meeting. The school also announced grief counselors would be available when school resumes on Friday, WBRZ reported.

“A senseless tragedy that we have seen on campuses around the nation struck here at home,” the parish school district said in a statement. “What should have been a routine afternoon dismissal Tuesday at St. Helena College and Career Academy, turned into a day that has shaken our close-knit community. But we are strong — we are St. Helena Strong — and as we mourn, we are also taking steps to bring our community together around ensuring the continued safety and well-being of our schools, learners, and employees.”

The 14-year-old student linked to the shooting is currently being held at the St. Helena detention center, per WAFB. The teen faces a slew of charges including second-degree murder, aggravated second-degree battery, illegal possession of a firearm, and possession of a firearm in a gun-free zone. 

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: September 15, 2023


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