This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Bountiful • After a 15-year-old Mueller Park Junior High School student fired a shotgun blast inside a classroom Thursday morning and was then apprehended by his own parents, fellow student Calvin Smith said he wanted to cry.
"It was scary," Smith said."It was terrifying."
Smith was in a 9th grade earth science class, which had just begun, when the alleged shooter, also a 15-year-old boy, entered the classroom, pointed the shotgun at the ceiling and fired.
Smith said the alleged shooter, wearing a large black trench-style coat, then stood for a few seconds, glowering angrily, as another student pleaded: "You don't want to do this."
Seconds later, as students "hit the floor," the alleged shooter's parents arrived and disarmed the boy, according to Smith.
Other students told Smith that they saw the boy's father tackle him, while his mother took the gun away.
No one was injured.
Smith said girls in the class began to cry in the aftermath, but the boys didn't although Smith admitted: "I wanted to cry."
Smith said that he knows the alleged shooter, has talked to him many times and that he has seemed "fine and normal," and that he has friends.
Bountiful Police Chief Tom Ross said the boy had a 12-gauge shotgun and a 9 mm handgun to school, as well as additional ammunition.
When his parents noticed the guns were missing from their home, they came to the school looking for their son, Ross said.
They were inside the school when they heard the gunshot, said Ross.
The parents then went to the south wing of the school where the shot was fired, and disarmed and detained the teen, Ross said.
Lt. Dave Edwards said that after the parents disarmed their son, the boy was subsequently arrested by a Bountiful police officer who happened to be nearby when he heard the 8:13 a.m. 911 call of an "active shooter," and arrived within two minutes.
Ross said at an afternoon news conference that the classroom was occupied by 26 students and a teacher.
Without saying anything, the teen "racked a round [into the shotgun] and fired into the ceiling," Ross said.
The boy then pointed the gun toward his neck, the chief said.
The teacher and a student tried to verbally engage the boy to prevent him from harming himself, Ross said, an effort that allowed the boy's parents to arrive in time to disarm him.
Ross thanked the boy's parents for being involved in his life to the extent that they noticed he was exhibiting peculiar behavior. Without the parents' arrival at the school, Ross said he was confident the episode would have had a different, worse outcome.
The teen, who is facing numerous potential charges, was in custody at the Farmington Bay Youth Center, Ross said.
After the shot was fired, the school, located at 955 E. 1800 South, was immediately put on lockdown.
Officers, who had responded from a number of jurisdictions, then went through the building room by room to make sure there was not a second suspect or any other threats.
Davis School District spokesman Chris Williams said the lockdown lasted about four hours as officers searched "every nook and cranny" of the building.
Once the police cleared the school, classes resumed. Hundreds of parents, however, gathered outside the school, intent on taking their children home.
Kristen Fowers who waited outside with her husband for their son, a ninth grader, to be released said her son had texted her that he was in a science class where the shot was fired.
The boy had texted that he was OK, but then added that he could not say more because police had asked students not to text information about the episode, Fowers said.
Williams said a crisis response team responded to the school to provide counselors for students who wanted someone to talk to. He said the counselors would be at the school again on Friday.