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Gun Scares Cause Trouble at Three Schools

Gun Scares Cause Trouble at Three Schools


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Tonya Papanikolas ReportingGun scares disrupted three Utah schools today.

A Salt Lake school had a gun scare this afternoon after three kids claim they saw a man with a weapon just outside school property. No one was hurt, but it was still a frightening situation.

The seven and eight-year-old kids at Woodrow Wilson Elementary who claimed to see the man say he never threatened them or pointed the gun directly at them. But when you don't know what a person's motive could be, it leaves you a little on edge.

The kids at Woodrow Wilson elementary school were out at recess when two little girls and a boy said they saw a man with a gun on the other side of the fence, just a foot away from them.

Cpt. Tracy Tingey, South Salt Lake Police Department: "He displayed a handgun. Whether that was a pistol or a revolver we're not sure at that point. The children say he was loading the pistol."

The kids say the man told them not to say anything to adults, then put the gun in his pocket and got on a UTA bus.

Cpt, Tracy Tingey: "We've already stopped several and conducted searches of the buses, and so far, we haven't identified a suspect off of those buses."

Police are still taking the report seriously. They sent officers to walk through the school, making sure everything was safe. The district says the school would also send a letter home with children, letting parents know what happened.

One parent picking up her kids for an appointment was shocked.

Sarinda Holley, Parent: "It's a very scary situation when your babies are in a school. You know they're safe and they're gonna do the best they can to protect them, but as a parent, it would have given me a heart attack, probably."

Randy Ripplinger, Granite School District: "What happened here today is very troubling."

The Granite School District says with all the school shootings around the country, local school districts are carefully watching for potential problems. Randy Ripplinger applauds the children for reporting it to the school.

Randy Ripplinger, Granite School District: "If you see something hazardous, suspicious, immediately report it to an adult, and that's exactly what they did, and we're very proud of them."

According to the kids' description, the suspect is Hispanic, about 5'5'', he was wearing blue jeans and a red shirt that possibly said "killer bee" or "killer beetles" on the back.

Officers have interviewed the kids. They also sent police to other schools in South Salt Lake to talk to the principals and make sure all the kids were safe.

And in Murray, a gun scare put two schools on "partial" lockdown.

Both Hillcrest Junior High and Parkside Elementary went on alert when a student reported seeing a man with a gun in the parking lot.

Police found no evidence of a gun at either place.

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