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Rumor of Tooele High shooting threat unfounded, police say

By Jen Riess, | Posted - Dec. 1, 2019 at 9:07 p.m.

TOOELE — Extra police officers will be patrolling Tooele High School and Blue Peak High School on Monday as a precaution after rumors of a possible shooting spread over social media, officials said Sunday.

"There have been multiple rumors being spread in regards to an active shooter at Tooele High School Monday, December 2," read a Tooele County School District Facebook post. "This is NOT true."

"Officers from Tooele City Police Department conducted a thorough investigation and found that the threat could not be substantiated," the school district Facebook post read.

Classes will be held as scheduled on Monday. The school district said the additional law enforcement is apart of school protocol.

Tooele Police Sgt. Jeremy Hansen said the rumor started when students made a Snapchat message to organize a "sluff," or skip, day on Monday.

"The more it got shared on Snapchat, it got rewritten over and screenshotted," said Hansen. "None of the (student resource officers) could determine who actually started the original post talking about 'hey, don't come to school on December 2.'"

As the message got passed around, students started to wonder why they were not supposed to go to school on that particular day. Some students in an in-school suspension on Nov. 25 overheard a conversation where someone said that someone else was planning a school shooting.

"We talked to roughly between 13 and 15 students and the students that (student resource officers) talked to, they said 'yeah, we've seen it but we don't have a copy of it,'" Hansen said.

Hansen said police have been unable to pin a copy of the Snapchat post since it's been screenshotted, rewritten over and deleted.

"It's a rumor that's getting spread but so far, we haven't found a single person that has direct knowledge about it," Hansen said.

Tooele County School District also advises parents to have a conversation with their children about the impacts of social media and that fake threats can have legal consequences.

Contributing: Xoel Cardenas,

Jen Riess

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