CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Bomb threat shuts down drag queen story time

Sep 25, 2023, 5:00 PM | Updated: Oct 17, 2023, 9:18 am

Salt Lake police were called to investigate a suspicious circumstance at the King’s English Books...

Salt Lake police were called to investigate a suspicious circumstance at the King’s English Bookstore on Sunday. (Salt Lake police)

(Salt Lake police)

SALT LAKE CITY — A bomb threat Sunday morning shut down the scheduled drag queen story time at the King’s English Bookstore in the 15th and 15th neighborhood of the city.

Police responded to the bookstore at about 9:30 and cleared the scene of any threat by just after 11 a.m. 

The ticketed event was set to feature local drag queen and storyteller Tara Lipsyncki. It was advertised for all ages with the intention of capturing “the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive and unabashedly queer role models.”

Dave and Debbie talk to Calvin Crosby, co-owner of the King’s English Bookshop, about the bomb threat.

Crosby said in 46 years of business, this is the first threat the bookstore has experienced. But, he vowed, the show will go on.

“I have my place in this community, and I will not lose that place. I’ve worked hard to get here,” he said.

Drag queen story time is for everyone, says co-owner

Crosby said the drag story time event at the bookstore has happened every last Sunday of the month at 11 a.m. since June.

The storyteller is dressed in drag, Crosby said.

“Story time is a celebration of love, diversity, reading and how books can change and do change everyone’s life who is willing to step into one,” he said.

He said police were notified before the bookstore about the bomb threat as the police knocked on the door to say the store needed to be evacuated. He added that an email specifically targeted both the bookstore and the drag story-time event.

Crosby said something strange about the online ticketing sales was happening leading up to Sunday’s story time. He said attendance at the previous month’s event was low. But he said he blinked and all of a sudden all 30 tickets had been claimed by “three or four individuals.” And he said these individuals had no online presence, which to Crosby was “weird.”

“So I printed everything out. And because I thought well, just in case there’s trouble, we have the names,” Crosby said. “By the time I arrived at the store, we’d already been evacuated and the block had been cordoned off.”

The FBI is working with SLCPD to find the criminal(s) behind the bomb threat.

Related: Police respond to bomb threat at Salt Lake bookstore drag storytime event

 

 

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Bomb threat shuts down drag queen story time