Sheriff’s Office investigates school shooting comments, finding there ‘wasn’t an actual threat’
‘Your children are safe to go to school,’ Sheriff’s Office says after Ecker Hill incident
Summit County Sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday night investigated a report of a threatened shooting at Ecker Hill Middle School and determined the two boys involved were joking when they were overheard discussing the shooting, according to Sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Wright.
Wright said there is no danger to students and that it “wasn’t an actual threat.” The boys did not have access to weapons.
“Your children are safe to go to school — deputies will continue to make a presence, as usual,” the Sheriff’s Office wrote in a prepared statement.
The boys, 12 and 13, were overheard talking about “shooting up the school,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.
After tracking down the boys, deputies told them they could not attend school on Wednesday until hearing from the Park City School District about possible disciplinary actions.
Wright said the case would be referred to the Summit County Attorney’s Office to screen for possible charges.
The school district thanked the Sheriff’s Office and Park City Police Department for responding rapidly.
“We are appreciative of the students who took this seriously, reported to parents, who then contacted school and police officials,” the district said in a prepared statement. “Our children’s safety is the number one priority. At the beginning of the school year, it is an important reminder to our students that if they hear something of concern, they should report it immediately to a trusted adult and to their parents.”
The Sheriff’s Office began receiving calls, texts and social media messages about the possible threat shortly after 10 p.m., Wright said, after a local parent posted in a Facebook group that “a couple of kids told (her son) not to go to school tomorrow because there might be a shooting.”
Wright said deputies interviewed that boy, who told them a student on the school bus told him not to go to school Wednesday because “something was going to go down.”
Deputies then spoke with that student, who said he overheard the two boys talking in the bus area about “shooting up the school.”
When deputies arrived at the homes of the two boys, their parents knew nothing about the threat, Wright said.
“Both students admitted to joking about it in the bus pickup area,” he said.
Wright said the original social media post created panic in the community that could have been avoided. He asked people to instead call the Sheriff’s Office to report incidents that need attention from law enforcement.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Park City and Summit County make the Park Record's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Park City School District administrators and Board of Education members gathered at Ecker Hill Middle School Thursday evening for an informal community gathering, another chance before Election Day for the public to weigh in on…