Diocese prepares for response to school tragedy

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA  (KPLC) - Officials with the Diocese of Lake Charles said they are saddened by the school tragedy at St. Theodore Holy Family Catholic School, and their top priority is maintaining the ongoing care of the students.

The Diocese confirmed at a press conference Thursday afternoon that a 13-year old student shot himself in an unknown area within the school early Thursday and died later that morning at an area hospital.

"Our hearts and prayers embrace the child, his parents, his family and friends," said Bishop Glen John

But even as they send out condolences, Diocese officials said their top priority is protecting the safety of the children at the school.

"This is a shock for each and every one of us," said Bishop Provost. "Our first concern remains for all of those affected by this tragedy."

School officials are immediately looking at ways to help the student body through this tragic time.

"The office of Catholic Schools is having a meeting later on today to discuss our plans for ongoing intervention and care of our faculty, staff and students," said Kimberlee Gazzolo, Superintendent of Catholic Schools.

Diocese officials said they are thankful for how quickly the public safety officials responded to the incident.

Students were released to go home for the day as soon as authorities felt the scene was safely secured.

Diocese officials said classes at St. Theodore Holy Family Catholic School are expected to resume on Monday.

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