Police on Wednesday arrested a juvenile with a gun at West High School in Salt Lake City.
No one was injured, but the school was locked down. Police received a report around 12:15 p.m. that a student had seen another student with a gun in a school bathroom, according to an email that Principal Ford White sent to parents Wednesday afternoon. The witness who saw the gun waited to tell a school official, said Salt Lake City police Detective Michael Ruff, and the official then called police.
The school was put on lockdown soon afterward, as police searched hallways and classrooms for the student. The lockdown was lifted in less than an hour, when police posted on Twitter that the suspect was in custody and there was “no further danger to students or public.”
Officers were able to find both the juvenile and the pistol, Ruff said.
“We were glad we were able to locate that person and take them into custody," he said.
By 1:30 p.m., a few police officers were still on the campus, but students and faculty were inside and outside the school walking between classrooms or eating lunch.
Ruff didn’t know why the gun was brought to the campus or where the handgun came from, but he said that he expects police to request criminal charges be filed.
White recognized in the email that this was “a very scary situation for our students and families" and urged students to reach out to a counselor if they feel they need one.
“I can’t stress enough how important it is for students to say something when they see something,” he added. “Please talk to your students about this. For any students who may not feel comfortable approaching staff directly, we strongly urge you to download the SafeUT app, a free mobile app available in the Apple store or the Google store.”
The SafeUT app was launched in January 2016, and use has grown steadily. Students can report suicidal thoughts, bullying or threats of school violence; University Neuropsychiatric Institute staffers are available 24/7.
West High School is at 241 N. 300 West, just north of downtown Salt Lake City. It has a student body of about 3,000.