Suspect related to threat to Matheson Jr. High is in custody

Dec 16, 2021, 3:30 PM | Updated: 3:40 pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — A suspect related to a threat against Matheson Jr. High School is in custody according to a spokesman for the Granite School District.

In a message sent to parents Thursday afternoon, Granite District spokesperson Ben Horsley said that while the threat was not credible, it did cause significant disruption and needless fear in students, staff and the community as a whole.

Horsley reported that the suspect was removed from the school and transported directly to juvenile detention. 

The student could face criminal charges including a felony charge of making a terroristic threat. Horsley said the suspect will also face school and district level discipline.

Local threat seemed to imitate a threat circulating nationally

In an email sent to media, Granite School District spokesman Benjamin Horsley said that they investigated a specific threat made to Matheson Junior High. That threat used the same language as other threats posted to social media. Those threats possibly involved Greenwood High School in Colorado and/or Gilroy High School in California.

Earlier reporting on KSL indicated Granger High School might possibly be the GHS referenced. Horsley says that’s not necessarily true. 

“There is one specific social media post that is a screenshot of a picture of someone’s phone with the threat (literally encompassing three different platforms of tiktok, Instagram and snapchat) that is making the rounds across the entire state,” Horsley said.

“There is no evidence to suggest that the threat is specific to any schools.”

The threat specific to Matheson Junior High used the same language as the general threat seen on social media, according to Horsley.

Letter to parents in the Granite District

Horsley said the Granite District sent a letter to parents on Wednesday night. School leaders explained that the district was working with Unified Police and other agencies to verify what he called “rumors on social media about a possible threat to our secondary schools.”

In the letter, Horsley explained that what officials saw on social media amounted to “a recycled screenshot of a threat that occurred at another school outside the state.”

You can view that screenshot below:

A social media post that sparked fears of threat.

Horsley said that this screenshot went viral across the state, but again stressed it does not specifically name or involve any school within the Granite District.

“We take every potential threat very seriously and continue to investigate. Out of an abundance of caution, some of our school locations will have an increased police presence through the remainder of the week,” read the letter sent to parents in the Granite School District.


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Suspect related to threat to Matheson Jr. High is in custody