CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

UPDATE: SLC police recover gun that prompted lockdown at West High

Dec 13, 2021, 11:16 AM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 11:53 am
students detained...
Image of threat from Scott Winterton, Deseret News.

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City police report that they have found the gun behind a threat that placed West High School into lockdown on Monday.

Police said they continue to look for more information, and encourage anybody with information to contact them.

KSL NewsRadio’s original reporting follows.  This story is developing and more will be added as information becomes available.

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Three West High School students are now being investigated for their part in an hours-long lockdown after one of them reportedly brought a stolen gun into the building. 

Salt Lake City Police say one student reportedly stole a gun from his family and took it to school. Some students reportedly saw a picture of the gun posted to Snapchat and told school administrators.

The administration initiated a lockdown of the school within minutes, and police swept through the entire building looking for the gun, but, it wasn’t found.  The school resource officer identified the students involved, taking them into custody before turning them over to the police. The lockdown at the high school was lifted just before 2 p.m., and the school day wrapped up as normal. 

The student who stole the gun could face charges. That’s up to the Third District Juvenile Court.

Police said that one of the students was released to their parents and charges may be screened at a later date. The investigation into the third student and their involvement is still ongoing.

Salt Lake City Police say they are still investigating what happened, and ask if anyone finds the gun, not to touch it. 

Nervous students and parents watched from outside

Some students, like Natasha, a junior, were stuck outside the campus while police combed through campus grounds.  She could only wait for school to reopen as her classmates were stuck inside.  At first, she says she didn’t feel the seriousness of the situation, but it hit her, quickly.

Natasha says, “When they wouldn’t let us inside, I think it got more serious.  That’s when I realized I probably shouldn’t, not necessarily laugh about it, but I should take it more seriously.”

She says the picture making the rounds on social media definitely scared her, and she’s happy the school resource officers took the potential threat seriously.

“Sure, that could be a joke, but it also could be serious.  Something could happen either to me, or a student,” she says.

Even after arrests were made, and despite reassurances that the students inside the school were not in danger, several parents waited outside the campus to take their kids home as soon as possible.  One man, Phillip Baker, says recent deadly shootings in Michigan have him on edge.

Baker says, “It’s just nerve-wracking.  With all the incidents happening over the last week, or two, with shootings and mass shootings in schools, I’m not willing to take that chance.”

Salt Lake City School District officials are praising the students who came forward to report the threat.

District Spokesperson Yándary Chatwin says, “That’s absolutely the right thing to do.  That is how the administration became aware of the threat is [by] a student sharing a post.”

All three students who are reportedly connected to this threat will be referred to the 3rd District Juvenile Court for possible prosecution.


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UPDATE: SLC police recover gun that prompted lockdown at West High