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Magna teens arrested after knives are found at school

Published December 20, 2012 1:18 pm

Police • Incident appears gang-related and not connected to self-protection.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Four teenagers were arrested at Cyprus High on Wednesday after they were discovered carrying pocketknives inside the Magna school.

The Unified Police Department arrested the four students, ages 16 and 17, after a school resource officer found them in a stairwell of the school at 8623 W. 3000 South, apparently skipping class, said Lt. Justin Hoyal. The knives, and in one case, a set of brass knuckles, were discovered on the boys, he said.

The students were each cited with having a dangerous weapon at school, a class B misdemeanor, Hoyal said. They were later released into the custody of their parents and will likely face suspension.

All students involved appear to have gang ties, Hoyal said, and the students didn't bring the weapons to school as a result of the recent school shooting in Newtown, Conn., where gunman Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults.

In contrast, earlier this week a sixth-grade boy in the Granite School District was taken into custody after bringing a handgun to school, reportedly so that he could defend himself in the event of an attack.

"He has alluded in his defense that he brought it as a way to defend himself and his friends if there was a Connecticut-style incident at the school," district spokesman Ben Horsley said on Monday of the 11-year-old student at West Kearns Elementary School who brought a .22-caliber handgun to school in his backpack.

Some witnesses have said they saw the boy brandish the gun on the playground and point it at another child's head. Two of the boy's classmates told their teacher about the gun at about 3 p.m., about 45 minutes before the end of the school day.

The teacher immediately secured the boy and took him to the principal's office. It was the principal who retrieved the boy's backpack from his classroom and contacted Granite police, Horsley said.

And in Weber County on Tuesday, authorities questioned several students after a text message circulated that someone was going to bring a gun to class at Bonneville High School.

After investigating, Weber County Sheriff's Lt. Mark Lowther said that the rumor, which spread rapidly through social media postings, appeared unfounded.

Weber County School District spokesman Nate Taggart said after the false alarm at Bonneville that school officials have to take any threat seriously, particularly after the shooting in Connecticut.


Twitter: @mrogers_trib




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