2 West High students detained after reported weapons threat on social media, lockdown lifted

Police responded to a reported threat on West High School, which was placed on lockdown on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Dec. 13, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Two West High School students have beed detained Monday morning after police arrived to investigate a reported threats of gun violence made on social media.

A witness told Gephardt Daily he saw one male, who appeared to be a student, being led in handcuffs from the back of the school by Salt Lake City Police officers.

Salt Lake City School District spokeswoman Yándary Chatwin told reporters at the scene at about noon that three officers continued the investigation inside West High, which remained on lockdown at that time.

“Something was shared on social media,” Chatwin said, saying she could not confirm the nature of the content.

According to a parents on scene, an image of a gun, and a second image of someone holding a gun were shared from a phone that pinged back to the school building.

The district ordered the lockdown so no one could enter or leave the school.

Police responded to a reported threat on West High School, which was placed on lockdown on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

Parent Phil Baker heard about the lockdown when he texted his sons in the building about an upcoming sporting event.

“They told me the school was on lockdown, and that gave me extreme concern with all that is happening in the United States, so I decided to come down and pick them up,” Baker said.

He arrived to see many students waiting outside the school who had not been inside when the lockdown went into effect. They and numerous concerned parents were waiting outside the school in the 48 degree cold.

“I found out from one kid they’ve been on lockdown almost since I dropped by kids off at school this morning, so that’s what’s frustrating.”

Baker learned about the gun photos posted on social media, and he also learned about threats that caused Box Elder County Schools to decide students at multiple schools would be closed Monday during the investigation, with students studying remotely, as as the investigation continues.

“It’s concerning,” Baker said. “What does it take for people to realize the severity of situations like this? Does it take more kids to be killed, and faculty and staff? It’s just nerve racking.”

Police responded to a reported threat on West High School, which was placed on lockdown on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

Baker said he would like to see people take common sense steps to curb the problem.

“Lock your guns up.,” he said. “Background checks. And even if your gun and choose it because I’m a gun enthusiast, teach your kids about those things. They are not toys. You know? If you feel your child has a mental disability, that needs to be checked.”

Baker said we are paying a high price for freedoms that are abused by people who don’t respect gun safety. And gun owners who are irresponsible put everyone at risk.

“A bullet and a gun does not have a specific name on it.”

The lockdown was lifted just before 2 p.m.

Gephardt Daily will have more information as it becomes available.

 

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