Police: temporary Hamden school employee threatened to shoot students, referenced Sandy Hook

Connecticut

A temporary employee at Hamden High School is under arrest, accused of sending threatening emails that caused mass chaos and fear to radiate around town Monday. 

Police say 21-year-old Ajuanna Laudat sent disturbing emails that had to do with shooting students.  Police say there was also a reference to another Sandy Hook.  

Laudat was arrested Tuesday after Hamden Police say she walked into the police station on her own. 

“We were able to speak with her and she confessed to making the threat,” Captain Ronald Smith told News 8.  “She stated that she wanted the students to get out early.”

Capt. Smith says Laudat was a paraprofessional at the high school.  He says a threatening email was initially sent to three staff members and an hour later, another threatening email was sent to the administration.

Students at the high school told News 8 the worst case scenario went through their minds at the time of the lockdown.  

“I was worried god forbid there is a shooter in the school and my little sister is across the school on the other side and I didn’t know how to get to her,” Cindy Lozada said. 

“My mom couldn’t even get into the school to get me so she was freaking out even more,” Marissa Cappella added. 

Cappella said Laudat was a paraprofessional in one of her daily classes.  She described her as quiet. 

“She was one of my friend’s helpers because my friend had a seizure,” Cappella said.  “She was in my class, my first period class.” 

Hamden schools sending a letter to parents saying all teachers and contractors go through a rigorous background check process including electronic screenings and the national sex offender registry screening. The letter did not specifiy whether or not Laudat had gone through that process. The district said they will continue to work with their safety team to review district safeguards and provide updates in this arrest if more details emerge.  

Some parents are skeptical Laudat was vetted enough as a temporary employee. 

“It’s very scary, very scary,” Dawn Mercado said.  “I don’t know how they didn’t check her background and know anything about this person.”

Cindy Lozada fought through tears sharing her message to Laudat. 

“What crosses someone’s mind to go through that to actually harm someone else, for no reason,” Lozada said.  “We didn’t do anything to you.” 

Ajuanna Laudat will be arraigned Wednesday morning at 9:30.  She’s currently being held on $100,000 bond. 

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