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