Police Saturday unraveled the details of a schoolyard incident in which a local man, brandishing a rifle and armed with a pistol on each of his hips, shot and killed himself after he threatened officers and a child.
Brigham City Police Chief Charles Earl said Ron B. Jensen, 48, 134 E. Seventh North, Brigham City, put his gun in his mouth and shot himself Friday evening after threatening a 10-year-old boy and police officers with his weapons.Earl said the incident began earlier Friday when Jensen's elementary-aged daughters were playing in a sandbox at the Foothill Elementary School and two boys teased them by hiding one of the girl's socks. The girls ran home and told their parents, and Jensen returned to the school. "He was going to go down there and straighten things out," the chief said.
The young boys had left the schoolyard when Jensen arrived. Earl said Jensen held a gun on a 10-year-old boy and an adult woman in the area.
Teachers were able to escort about 10 children, including Jensen's daughters, to safety inside the building. "They never even saw what happened," Earl said.
Jensen had made several threatening phone calls to police previously, the chief said. "The suspect has had run-ins with us before, so he's just paranoid with police. He would call and make threats late at night or early in the morning, for no reason."
Three police officers responded to the playground at 7:17 p.m. after receiving calls from neighbors, and Jensen turned his gun on them while they tried to persuade him to drop his weapons.
"The officers approached the subject and maneuvered him away from the crowd, at which time one of the officers was threatened with a rifle," according to a statement released by Earl.
Wayne Bowcutt, a sixth-grade teacher at the school who witnessed the incident, told the Associated Press that the man threatened a female teacher with a gun.
"It was a terrible thing," he said. "(The police) did everything in their power to try to get him to give up the gun.
"Then I grabbed the kids and she grabbed the kids and we took them into the (school) building into the classroom to get them away from the man," he said.