Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Police have determined that a bomb threat at a Salt Lake high school that kept students from the building for almost two hours was most likely a prank.
A call came into West High School, 241 N. 300 West, around 9:15 a.m. from a male who said an explosive device had been placed on the campus, police said. Salt Lake City School District spokesman Jason Olsen said the threat "sounded credible," prompting an evacuation of the school minutes later.
"We'd rather be cautious than have anybody hurt," Olsen said. "It disrupts the day, but that's OK. We'll take all the precautions we need to take."
The Salt Lake police bomb squad responded to the school, ultimately focusing on the athletic building, where a teacher had noted a bag by a scale in the boy's locker room, said Salt Lake Police Sgt. Robin Snyder. She said a call to the wrestling coach, who had last used the building for a practice, allowed officials to confirm that the bag belonged to him.
Snyder said halfway through the evacuation, teachers were sent back into the school to check their own classrooms again to look for anything suspicious. Students returned to the building just before 11 a.m. and were told to check their bags for anything suspicious.
Investigators have determined the phone call came over an Internet phone connection.
"Any time anyone calls in a prank like this, we will continue to investigate until we find them," Salt Lake police detective Pat Wilkinson said. "They will be prosecuted."
Rich Jaramillo, assistant principal at West, said incidents like this are infrequent. He noted this is the first bomb threat at West during his 13 years at the school.
He said the students were not informed of the reason for the evacuation, but they knew it was serious by the length of time they were kept outside.
"They're making assumptions, but they know it's not a drill," he said.
— Emiley Morgan
- Dispatchers answer man's repeated 911 calls...
- Carbon County deputy saves father, son from...
- Sugar House man intends to sue police, city...
- Grading Utah schools, 2014: Top 20 highest...
- Woman killed in Sandy shooting
- Fire rips through Orem structure under...
- Gov. Herbert nominates 3rd District Judge...
- Visiting minister urges unity among Christians
- Majority of Utahns oppose moving state... 51
- Prison relocation sites down to four as... 50
- Obama signature all that's left in... 39
- End gun violence, say faith leaders on... 33
- Sugar House man intends to sue police,... 33
- Popular Utah County water recreation... 21
- Audit: Utah still relies heavily on... 16
- Utahns favor Count My Vote and SB54,... 15