NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Authorities in a New Orleans suburb say two bodies with apparent gunshot wounds were found at the scene of an afternoon fire.
New Orleans news outlets report that one body was found in the front yard of a town home in the Old Jefferson area of Jefferson Parish. Another was inside the building that was burning Monday afternoon.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand told reporters on the scene that after finding the bodies, firefighters withdrew, fearing that there might be an armed person inside.
"One of the firefighters said they saw someone else in the house so they immediately exited," Norman said. "It seemed unsafe at the time not knowing whether there was a third (person) and whether or not that individual was armed."
Once it became clear that nobody else was inside, work resumed to extinguish the blaze. The deaths — and the cause of the fire — were under investigation. Normand told WWL-TV that police had responded to "domestic situations" at the residence before. He gave no details.
The fire was reported around 2:20 p.m. Concerns that an active shooter might be in the area brought the sheriff's tactical team to the area for a time. They eventually left without incident.
James Lawrence, a sophomore at nearby Riverdale High School, told The New Orleans Advocate that authorities came to campus about 2:40 p.m. and told everyone to leave. Lawrence said after-school activities were also canceled.
Germaine Gilson, the second-in-command of Jefferson Parish's public school district, said Riverdale canceled after-school activities as a precaution and told everyone to go home because it was near dismissal time.