Bomb and shooting threats prompt lockdown, big police response at East High
Laura Seitz, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — East High School was briefly locked down Thursday after police received reports of both a bomb threat and shots fired inside the school within minutes of each other.
Both threats, however, were determined to be false.
Just after 9 a.m., police received the first call of a possible bomb threat on the second floor of East High School, 840 S. 1300 East.
"This phone call came in on a line for disabled people, and it was actually a computer generated phone call. So somebody typed in the information on this bomb threat," Salt Lake police detective Cody Lougy said.
Just three to four minutes later, police received a second call claiming shots had been fired inside the school, Lougy said. The call was possibly made from the same phone, but that had not been verified.
The shooting element heightened the response of Salt Lake police. Some officers had their semi-automatic weapons drawn at the school.
But Lougy said the school resource officer was already at the school when the calls were made and told dispatchers that he didn't hear any shots. "He told dispatch, 'I'm not hearing or seeing anything,'" he said.
Still, Lougy said because the school is so big, officers continued their response and set up a containment around the block surrounding the school.
"It was just crazy because we didn't know what it was until our vice principal, Ms. Grizzly, she announced that, 'This is not a drill. Get in your class. Lockdown,'" said student Rose Nusi.
One student inside the school said his class had been told to lay down on the floor of the classroom.
Within 20 minutes, the threat was determined to be false. A couple of unattended student backpacks were investigated on the second floor, but Lougy said officers quickly determined those were not a threat. Discarded backpacks are common in a school settings, he said.
Police continued to investigate who made the two calls and where the calls were made from.
Contributing: Sandra Yi
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