4 schools locked down after student flees with BB gun

By Whitney Evans, Deseret News

Published: Fri, May 10, 2013, 4:35 p.m. MDT


SOUTH SALT LAKE — Four schools were briefly put in lockdown Friday afternoon after a BB gun was found in a student's backpack.

The principal at the alternative Granite Peaks High School was checking student backpacks for tobacco about 12:10 p.m. when she found drugs and a BB gun in the backpack of a 17-year-old senior student, said Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley.

The administrator called an on-campus police officer. When the student and principal approached the principal's office, the student grabbed his backpack and fled.

The officer was a few steps behind the student. When he realized he would not be able to catch the student, he set up a containment unit with the help of Granite police and South Salt Lake police, Horsley said.

An officer caught the student within 20 minutes, and he was booked into juvenile detention.

The weapon was still in the student's backpack when he was apprehended. Horsley said the boy's consequences will be decided by the district's safe school committee.

"A weapons violation is serious. This type of weapon is a facsimile-type weapon. Even though it's non-lethal — it's serious. I would say he will not be attending this location anytime soon and probably any of our other locations. We'll probably find some alternative placement for him or expulsion," he said.

Horsley praised the principal, who attempted to wrestle the backpack away from the student before he fled, and the quick action by police.

"Unfortunately you have students who make unwise decisions to participate in drugs and bring weapons on campus, and that's something we have to prepare for and we're grateful for the outcome today," Horsley said.

Nearby schools Millcreek Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Hartvigsen School and Jones Center were briefly placed on lockdown until the student was apprehended.

Contributing: Peter Samore

Email: wevans@deseretnews.com

Twitter: whitevs7

1. Bifftacular
Spanish Fork, Ut,
May 10, 2013

Sad on so many levels. Certainly not appropriate to bring a BB gun to school and there should be some consequences but now watch the school district do the politically correct thing and hammer this kid with a sledge hammer when a tap with a hammer would do. It wasn't many years ago I remember seeing real guns on racks in the back windows of trucks that kids drove to school. No one said a word. Now days, if you did that you'd be locked up as a criminal. So unfortunate that our culture has changed to the extent it has due in some part to the real increase and highly publicized mass killings in schools by a few whack jobs. Hysteria and fear of legal reprisals has taken the place of good old fashioned common sense and judgement. No wonder the kid ran. I would have too.

2. Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA,
May 10, 2013

How many lockdown days are built into the school calendar? I swear there are more days lost to lockdown than snow.

3. Let's be real
Salt Lake City, UT,
May 10, 2013

This goes with my comment on the irresponsible parent whose child got lost at Lagoon. This is more of the same. We lock down 4 schools because of a BB gun? To quote a famous movie "Watch out kid, you'll shoot your eye out." This is ridiculous. Some parent would probably complain that their kids life was at stake so they should have locked down the entire town until the BB bandit was caught. More of the shameful parenting continues.

4. JSB
Sugar City, ID,
May 11, 2013

This is one of the problems with our current public schools. It wouldn't have been an issue when I was a kid but the whole atmosphere has changed. We have become a violent society. If the school doesn't take strong action and someone is injured, then the administrators will be blamed for not doing everything they should have done. But, then they are mocked if they over-react. There never was a need for armed security in the schools when I was a boy, but now there is. How much of our education $ are spent on security but are our schools that much more secure? Our classrooms are overcrowded and our students are paying a big price for it. Schools are where kids get exposed to porn, where they get bullied, where they hear vulgarity, where girls dress immodestly, where they get drugs, etc. etc. etc. Home schooling seems to look like a better and better option. The state should look closely at promoting home schooling by financially assisting parents who take the responsibility to educate their own children. It would actually be less expensive than our current public school option.

5. DEW Cougars
Sandy, UT,
May 11, 2013

I don't know about other places like New York or Boston, do they have scanning devices to all entraces to school building. That way kids will know there is no way any weapens can enter but that won't work because they bring pc's and electronic devices. Never mind.

BB's guns are not allow, when are those kids going to know better?