Disgruntled Promontory employee arrested after, police say, making threat to shoot people
After being told he would lose his job, a Promontory employee threatened to shoot multiple people at a public place and “go down in a blaze of glory” in a gun battle with law enforcement, according to a report from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies responded both to Promontory, where the threat was made, and to the man’s residence, Lt. Andrew Wright said, which they searched and found no weapons. The incident happened around lunchtime Wednesday, according to the report.
Wright said the 35-year-old Park City man was remorseful for the panic he had caused and lacked the means to carry out his threat.
“In today’s age … we don’t take threats like that lightly,” Wright said. “If someone is making a threat like that out of frustration but doesn’t have the means to follow through, we don’t know that when someone makes that kind of threat.”
The man was arrested and booked into jail. He was charged with threat of violence, a class B misdemeanor.
A Promontory spokesperson in an email declined to comment on “internal human resource matters” and would not confirm what the man’s job was or whether he was fired or had quit. Wright said the man is not allowed back on Promontory property.
The man said he was going to “snipe” people at a specific public place with an assault rifle, then shoot it out with police if Promontory hurt his family, according to the report.
The man had told management he was going to quit, and when he requested to retract that statement, they denied the request. He had also been disciplined for insubordination, according to the report. After that, the man made the threat.
Staff and management told the authorities they were frightened and took the threats seriously and reported them to the Sheriff’s Office. The man had left the scene by the time deputies responded to Promontory, but another team of deputies found him at his house.
In cases when a person has made a “terroristic threat” of violence, Wright said, the first priority is to ensure the people who are being threatened or the place the threats are targeting is secure. At the same time, the office sends out deputies to see if the means exist for the threats to be carried out.
Since the man was encountered at his home, and consented to it being searched, deputies were able to ascertain the man didn’t possess any weapons with which he could conduct a mass shooting.
Wright wasn’t sure if deputies arrived at the home in larger numbers or with greater firepower than usual, or with their guns drawn, but he said it would not be unusual in a case like this. If the man had been driving or near the area he had threatened, deputies would have conducted a “high-risk” stop with a greater show of force and ordered the man to leave his vehicle at gunpoint, Wright said.
“It’s one of those things that people need to remember — you can’t even make those threats,” he said. “We in law enforcement (and the) Sheriff’s Office will take aggressive action against people who make these types of threats. In the climate we live in, the shootings that we see on a regular basis throughout our country. … The Summit County Sheriff’s Office, we don’t want to see it in our county and we’ll take steps to prevent it.”
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The Summit County unemployment rate dropped slightly in October, the state Department of Workforce Services reported.