Hoax shooting calls force school lockdowns; police forced to respond

Reading Time: 2 minutes High schools across Northern Utah went into lockdowns after hoax shooting calls were reported to authorities across the state. Schools in Provo, Salt Lake, Ogden, and Box Elder were sent into lockdowns or saw police response after these calls were received.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Hoax shooting calls of active shooters across Utah have sent several schools into lockdown and resulted in police response to the respective schools.

Occurring on the morning of March 29, Provo High School, Spanish Fork High School, and up to four Utah County Schools had received threats or reports of an active shooter at their schools. This same occurrence has been reported at other schools across the state from as far north as Box Elder to as far south as Spanish Fork.

“Right now, we know that all of the schools in question are safe,” stated Ryan Bartlett, director of strategic communications for the Utah State board of Education, in a statement given to the Review. “Local police departments have responded promptly to these threats, which appear to be similar to unfound threats of school violence that have occurred in other parts of the country.”

“First responders take every threat seriously and will continue to respond promptly to any threat to Utah schools,” Bartlett’s statement continued. “We encourage anyone who has information about the situation to share that information with their local law enforcement agencies.”

In total, ten separate calls were received at the moment of writing this report.

“Multiple hoax calls have claimed active shooter situations in various schools throughout the state,” the Utah Department of Public Safety said in a statement on Twitter. “These calls are taken very seriously and are immediately looked into by law enforcement agencies. We ask the public to please stay calm as our local law enforcement partners have not verified the validity of these accusations and we are currently looking into the origin of these calls.”

Provo police responded to a threat that was made against Provo High School after a call was received by them at 9:45 a.m. March 29, while clearing the school, the department learned that the same threat was received by four other schools in Utah County.

“No verified threats, injuries, or suspicious activity have been found,” a Provo Police statement read. “Officers will continue to investigate the origin of the call.”

It is currently unclear the origin of these hoax shooting calls or whether it was one person or multiple people. However, local authorities have said they will be looking into who made these calls.

“We are working with the [FBI],” the Salt Lake City Police Department began in a post on their facebook. “And other law enforcement agencies to further investigate this and other unfounded active shooter reports.”

Salt lake City Police Chief Mike Brown stated on Twitter that he was proud of the response that the officers gave to the calls that were made. Making it clear that any report of an active shooter is serious and will be responded to accordingly.

“We will do everything we can to identify the person or persons responsible for this unfounded report,” Brown affirmed on Twitter. “These are not pranks. They put our community in danger.”

These calls come in the wake of a school shooting that occurred in Nashville, Tennessee, that resulted in the deaths of seven people, including the shooter.

The Review will continue to update as new details become available.