Confusion Over Possible Suspicious Person Leads To SWAT Response, Lockdown At Wrong School

Oct 25, 2019, 9:46 PM | Updated: 10:27 pm

HIGHLAND, Utah — Apparent confusion over a possible suspicious person at a high school in a neighboring county led to a report to the wrong department and a massive police and SWAT response at Lone Peak High School Friday, as officers went classroom-to-classroom with guns drawn to make certain no threat existed.

More than 100 officers from multiple agencies converged on the high school, 10189 N. 4800 West, after the call came in around noon.

“The caller (stated) they heard that there was an individual that was going into Lone Peak High School (that) had a trench coat on with a weapon,” said Lone Peak Police Officer Dave Ventrano.

A lockdown ensued for the next couple hours.

Ventrano said it appeared afterward as if the call to his department stemmed from something that unfolded at Highland High School in Salt Lake City.

“It sounds like the person said it was at Highland High School and the person they told it to that called us thought it was the high school in Highland, which is Lone Peak, which is in Highland,” Ventrano said.

Salt Lake City Police confirmed there was a report Friday morning of a suspicious person at Highland High.

“We were able to determine that it was a vending machine repair person or delivery person and at that point said, ‘there’s no threat here,’ and called that good,” said Det. Michael Ruff.

Ruff said the department wasn’t aware of what transpired at Lone Peak until it began receiving calls from news reporters.

Some parents, while noting that they appreciated the prompt police response, acknowledged the situation was a little unnerving.

“You don’t know what can happen,” said Marilyn Atkinson.

Ruth Ann Roberts said she had been getting updates from her daughter as SWAT officers moved through the school, and she said she was relieved police found nothing.

She gave the teen a big hug when she finally emerged.

“She’s finally out, so I’m really happy,” Roberts said. “I’m sure every parent here is really happy.”

Ventrano said the large presence was essentially a sign of the times, given what has transpired in active shooter situations across the country.

“We’d rather be safe than sorry,” Ventrano said. “We want to make sure if there is a threat that we’re responding as safely as possible.”

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Confusion Over Possible Suspicious Person Leads To SWAT Response, Lockdown At Wrong School