Police: Student in custody after threat of gun violence at West Jordan school

Copper Hills High School. Photo: Google Earth

WEST JORDAN, Utah, Nov. 8, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A Copper Hills High student is in custody after police responded to social media threats of gun violence reported to the SafeUT app.

Students from two schools — Copper Hills High and Sunset Ridge Middle School — were involved in a dispute, Chief Ken Wallentine, West Jordan City Police Department, told reporters at a news conference.

“There has been some ongoing conflict between students at the school, and yesterday, they erupted into a fight, a physical altercation, that led to threats on social media of bringing gun violence into one of those schools,” Wallentine said.

“Fortunately, a number of students saw social media postings, threats. They reached out to the school district, crisis counselors and to the police department through the SafeUT app, and, in turn, that allowed us to successfully intervene in an early stage.

“The student who was taken into custody was from Copper Hills High School. He is currently being detained, and will be referred to the juvenile court system for prosecution.”

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Wallentine did not name the social media where the posts appeared, but did say it was broad enough that multiple students were able to view the threatening messages.

“They were threatening gun violence at the school to a particular student or students,” Wallentine said. “Students saw social media postings, they were concerned about their own safety the following day, so they reached out  through the SafeUT app.”

Wallentine recommended the app as a good resource for students who need to report threats or seek crisis counseling. Adults feel more comfortable calling police, he said. SafeUT is a more comfortable option for juveniles, he said.

The juvenile who made the threats was taken into custody at his home, Wallentine said. His family was very cooperative once they learned the nature of police concerns, the chief said.

The location set for the threatened gun violence was at school, Wallentine said. Parents have been alerted that no remaining threat from the incident remains at either school, Wallentine said.

Image: Google Maps

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