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Police search Layton school's surveillance video for pipe bomb suspect

By Pat Reavy | Posted - Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 3:51pm

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LAYTON — Police say a pipe bomb found on the roof of Mountain View Elementary School Monday was a real device.

"It certainly was a functioning pipe bomb. It did have the ability to explode, the gun powder inside of it. It did appear at one point it had a fuse. I don't know if the fuse fell out or it burned down and stopped. But it certainly could have functioned as a pipe bomb," Layton Police Lt. Shawn Horton said Tuesday.

He was unsure if the pipe bomb would have caused much damage to the school if it had gone off. But Horton said it could have seriously injured or potentially killed anyone who was holding it.

Now, investigators want to know who put the explosive device on the roof of the school at 2025 E. 3100 North.

The pipe bomb was discovered Monday by a maintenance worker. The worker picked up the device and shook it, then put the pipe bomb in his pocket, came down from the roof and contacted the head custodian.

"Probably not the safest way to go about that," Horton said. "We would have preferred he just leave it there … and just contact people from that point."

The device prompted school officials to evacuate the building and cancel classes for the day while officers investigated.

"This scares me a lot," one mother said when she picked up her child Monday. "With everything going on right now all around everywhere … it's hard to let your kids out of your sight."

Tuesday, school resumed and the classrooms were full, said Principal Don Beatty. Investigators, meanwhile, began going through somewhere between two weeks to one month of school surveillance video from 14 different cameras. Horton said detectives would be looking for anything in the video that seemed suspicious.

"Hopefully we'll find something obvious. But if not, we've got to go through all the possible tips we receive from the video," he said.

At the school Tuesday morning it was business as usual. Principal Don Beatty said nearly all of the 700 students were back in class. Only a few came late or stayed home because they or their parents were concerned about safety, but he emphasized that the school is more safe today than it was yesterday, due to increased police presence and hyper awareness.

"We simply did an announcement to the students this morning telling them how happy we were to be back to a safe school, it's a sunny day, it's going to be a great day and were happy to see them," Beatty said.

Beatty says some of the students have asked questions about yesterday's evacuation, and their questions have been answered, but unless a student brings it up the staff is moving forward.

Parents said they were pleased with how the school handled the scare. Students were not notified of the possible bomb; rather, they evacuated the school as if it were a fire drill. The school informed their parents, who then were able to talk to their children about the incident.

As of Tuesday, the incident at Mountain View did not appear to be connected to any other events, Horton said, including a bomb threat at Ogden's Shadow Valley Elementary on Tuesday that prompted officials to evacuate the school and send the students home early.

Contributing: Shara Park


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