Police confirm no shots fired at SUU, all buildings cleared and classes canceled

Apr 11, 2024, 9:42 AM | Updated: 5:18 pm

CEDAR CITYSouthern Utah University was placed on lockdown Thursday due to the “possibility of an active shooter” on campus. Police say all campus buildings have been cleared and “there is confirmation that NO SHOTS were fired.”

All classes and activities were canceled for the rest of Thursday and will resume on Friday.

“It is now safe to exit all remaining buildings and clear the area, while following law enforcement instructions,” the university said in an alert posted at 1:10 p.m. Thursday.

“It was literally like someone looked at their phone and saw the email,” said SUU student Isaac Potter. “Oh, we’re on lockdown. There’s supposedly a shooter.”

The science buildings were cleared first after they received reports of noises that sounded like shots fired just after 10 a.m. Other campus buildings were searched and cleared by law enforcement. Law enforcement responded to the campus after the school received “a suspicious phone call regarding the possibility of an active shooter” before 9:30 a.m.

“I think the texts that we got about sounds that maybe made it sound like gunshots made it a little bit more real,” said SUU student Courtney Hansen.

The Iron County School District said Cedar High School, Canyon View Middle School, Three Peaks Elementary and preschool, Iron Springs Elementary, Fiddlers Elementary, Enoch Elementary and East Elementary School were under “secure action” protocol due to “a police incident in the area,” which meant all doors were locked and no one could leave or enter the buildings.

Those secure actions were lifted by 11:15 a.m., according to Shauna Lund with the Iron County School District.

SUU police identified a potential suspect, described as: “a white male with black hat, black shades, green t-shirt, long hair, blue jeans, 20-25 years old.” No one had been taken into custody in connection to the incident as of 1:15 p.m. Thursday.

Later, an update from the university stated, “It’s highly unlikely that the possible suspect was actually involved in this threat.”

By 12:05 p.m. the lockdown was being lifted and buildings were being safely cleared by law enforcement. That process was completed by 2 p.m.

A release from the University said law enforcement is continuing to investigate the suspicious phone call but that there was no evidence shots were fired. Nobody was injured in the incident.

“We are grateful to SUU Police and the many local law enforcement agencies for their swift response and superb coordination, prioritizing safety on our campus and in our community. Thank you to all who were an important part of the successful resolution of the situation,” SUU President Mindy Benson said.

The university will have support services are available for the campus community at suu.edu/mentalhealth and suu.edu/hr/benefits/eap.html. Students and employees may call SUU’s Counseling and Psychological Services at 435-865-8621 for virtual assistance today.

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Police confirm no shots fired at SUU, all buildings cleared and classes canceled