PORT BARRE, La. (KLFY) — A 12-year-old Port Barre boy was arrested after bringing a plastic gun to school to terrorize other students, authorities said.

On Friday, Aug. 25, the Port Barre Police Department received information that a middle school student brought a replica pistol to school. Police said the 12-year-old male had a verbal confrontation with two other students a few days prior and brought the pistol to school to threaten them. When the school faculty learned the student was in possession of the fake pistol, it was taken from him, authorities said.

The Port Barre Police Department opened a criminal investigation and were able to interview witnesses and the 12-year-old suspect. Police retrieved the pistol from the school and examined it. The pistol is plastic toy replica, according to Port Barre Police Chief Deon R. Boudreaux.

“Unfortunately, we live in a time where violence in schools have become more common,” Boudreaux said. “The past decade-plus, we have been seeing more violence in preteen and teenagers, not just in our community, but in other communities as well. Although this pistol is not a real firearm, we must take these types of investigations seriously. The toy pistol is very realistic looking and can certainly cause others to be in fear of it.”

The 12-year-old student was arrested and charged with the attempt to terrorize/menace.

“Using weapons, even fake weapons, at school to threaten or cause fear to other students and faculty cannot be tolerated,” Boudreaux said.