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Science experiment at Utah elementary school mistaken for gunshots

A report of a possible shooting at Granger Elementary School was investigated Monday by West Valley police, but officers quickly determined that no shooting had taken place.

A report of a possible shooting at Granger Elementary School was investigated Monday by West Valley police, but officers quickly determined that no shooting had taken place. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)


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WEST VALLEY CITY — A loud science experiment allegedly mistaken for gunshots prompted a large police response and a West Valley elementary school to be evacuated Monday.

"There was a false alarm incident at Granger Elementary earlier this morning," the Granite School District said in a prepared statement Monday afternoon. "A teacher in a classroom heard what they thought to be shots fired and contacted police — those loud noises were from a science experiment in another classroom."

The teacher who heard the noises immediately called 911. The school was cleared and parents were told they could pick up their children at the nearby Redwood Swap Meet. But just a short time later, police and district administrators confirmed no shots were fired by anyone.

"This was a non-credible threat and everyone is safe and accounted for. We are grateful for the immediate response of the police," the district stated.

District officials say they attempted to contact parents as quickly as they could when they learned it was a false alarm "but were unable to verify and share certain information while police conducted their investigation."

Classes at Granger Elementary resumed Monday afternoon, but parents who still want to pick up their children are being allowed to do so at the school. Students who stay will be given lunch and school will be let out at its regular time, according to the district.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.

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