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Emergency ‘shelter in place’ alert accidentally sent to 4 counties

By Tania Dean, KSL TV | Posted - Jul. 13, 2020 at 10:21 a.m.



WEST HAVEN — An emergency alert startled many people awake just before 2 a.m. Sunday, telling them to shelter in place, but giving few other details.

A SWAT situation was underway in West Haven, but the alert accidentally went out a lot further than that.

The alert went out at 1:47 a.m. Sunday, and this is all it said: “Emergency alert: Extreme. WCSO (Weber County Sheriff’s Office) is requesting all residents to shelter in place at this time.”

“I was just really confused about what exactly was going on,” said Keenan Price, who lives in Roy. “I had no clue what WCSO was and I didn’t know why we were sheltering in place, like was there a riot going on? Like is someone driving around shooting people? I just had no clue what was going on.”

A SWAT situation unfolded near 2150 West and 3150 South Saturday night, after deputies responded to a call of an intoxicated person.

“Upon arrival, deputies did attempt contact at the door. When they didn’t gain contact, they stepped back and shortly after that, shots were fired through the house,” said Weber County Sheriff's Lt. Nealy Adams.

Adams said someone from inside the house fired shots toward deputies and medical crews. That’s when they called in SWAT, evacuated neighboring homes, and sent out the emergency alert.

The SWAT team made entrance into the home several hours after shots were fired and found a 40-year-old man dead, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Tyler Sugden lives on the same street and even found a bullet in his driveway, but he wasn’t evacuated. In fact, he didn’t even get the emergency alert.

“I was just kind of surprised we didn’t get it, even living this close to it,” said Sugden. “It would have been nice just because if there was some bigger things that took place, we would have been prepared for it.”

While Tyler didn’t get the alert, we heard from folks in Brigham City who did.

Authorities said it went out to people in four counties: Weber, Davis, Salt Lake and Box Elder. That was an accident.

“The message was supposed to go out about a half-mile to-a- mile from the incident. The message ended up being sent out on a larger scale,” said Adams. “I would say that that was a human error, putting it into the wrong program.”

Adams said the alert was vague and there’s usually more information. He also said they typically send a second alert giving the all clear, which doesn’t seem to have happened.

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