All students contacted following shooting incident in Taylorsville High parking lot
TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — Police said they have identified and made contact with the six teens involved in a shooting that took place in the parking lot of Taylorsville High School Thursday.
Sgt. Jeff Smith with the Taylorsville Police Department told KSL TV that detectives are interviewing the teens, who went to the parking lot Thursday at approximately 12:30 p.m. to “settle a beef.” Smith could not elaborate on what the dispute was about, but said detectives were trying to determine if the teen who fired the gun was shooting it at another student, or if the teen fired the weapon in the air in an attempt to scare someone.
Thursday’s shooting is the 16th incident involving weapons on a Granite School District campus in the 2022-2023 school year. During the 2021-2022 school year, there were 17.
“The situation is untenable,” said Ben Horsley, chief of staff for the Granite School District. “We need to take some very aggressive action to curb some of these incidences and ensure the safety of our campuses.”
UPDATE: Three in custody after shots fired at Taylorsville High School, police said
The Granite School District is requesting $12 million from the state to enhance security on campuses.
“It would help us pay for more resource officers; mental health supports for students in crisis; help us initiate C-Stag, which is a threat assessment process so we can actually get with kids who are showing red flags and being in crisis and potentially identify those threats before they become threats,” Horsley said.
If the money is allocated, Granite School District will also use it for a weapons detection program. In the next two months, a weapons monitoring system will be installed at designated entrances at Hunter High School as part of the district’s pilot program.
“It’s not a metal detector. It’s not like TSA at the airport; it will be two towers you walk through,” Horsley said. “It identifies density and size and shape of objects that could be weapons.”
As district administrators continue to assess how Thursday’s shooting was handled, they’ve already identified a problem with how families were communicated with. During the incident, a text message was sent to parents, alerting them of the lockdown and advising them to check their email for more information. However, some of those emails were never received.
“What we discovered is some of our parents may or may not have received an email at all, or if they did receive it, it was much, much later. Even some of those emails were coming hours after the fact,” Horsley said.
Horsley said the problem was with a third-party vendor’s server responsible for emergency alerts and emails, which he calls unacceptable. So Friday, the district decided to cut out the middle-man and create a landing page for emergency information.
“We set up a web page,” Horsley said. “We’re actually not using email at all anymore; we’re simply texting a link to that webpage and posting all the updates there.”
Horsley said he can understand the frustration felt by parents, and wants them to know that the district is doing everything they can to ensure the safety of children on their campuses.
“There is no perfect response in these situations. You do the best you can with the training you have, and there is just no way to train perfectly for these types of situations,” Horsley said. “I am so proud of the way our administrators, teachers, and our kids handled the situation yesterday.”
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