CRIME

Kaysville police warn about ‘senior assassin’ game after stranger with gun spotted in neighborhood

Apr 30, 2024, 7:10 PM | Updated: May 1, 2024, 7:29 am

KAYSVILLE — Police cautioned teens and parents about the potential unintended consequences of a high school game that led to a police response Tuesday morning.

Before 7 a.m., officers with the Kaysville Police Department were called to 800 E. Westbrook Road on the report of a suspicious man in a yard holding what looked like a handgun.

Tanner Wardrop said shortly after he woke up, he saw the stranger on his security camera.

“There was a hooded guy walking in my backyard with what looked like a pistol in his hand,” Wardrop said. “He was kind of standing a little bit to the side — looked like he was trying to avoid something.”

Wardrop said he suspected it was a teenager, but when he looked closer outside, he couldn’t find anyone, so he called dispatch.

“We had an emergency response over to the house,” said Kaysville police officer Lexi Benson. “We were able to locate the individual in a car, and we ended up making a felony stop.”

When officers stopped the car, they made a surprising discovery.

“The individual had a squirt gun, and they were playing ‘senior assassin,’” Benson said.

According to Benson, the game has been popular among teens in the area. In it, they are given targets and have to squirt them with squirt guns.

It hasn’t been the first time recently that someone playing “senior assassin” has come to the attention of police.

“We did get video surveillance from an individual going through a grocery store locally with a squirt gun,” Benson said.

She said the squirt guns often look like real guns, leading observers to easily misinterpret the game as something else.

“We had a lady that saw the individual in her backyard, and she actually went to go obtain a firearm,” Benson said of the Tuesday morning case. “She was very scared for her life.”

Kaysville police warn teens to quit dangerous prank

Police said they weren’t going to discourage kids from playing the game but cautioned them to obey the law and not trespass on other people’s properties or hide in their yards and garages.

“We just want to make sure they’re abiding by the laws and just making sure parents are aware of what’s going on,” Benson said. “We really don’t want to see anyone get hurt just trying to have fun.”

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Benson said it was unclear as of Tuesday afternoon whether the teen would face any further legal consequences.

“Thankfully, it ended up being a squirt gun,” Benson said. “I’m sure the kid was terrified to have police, you know, telling him to put his hands up and get out of the car and probably had no idea what was going on, but from a citizen’s standpoint, you know, someone walking around in their backyard that they don’t know that appears to have a gun is very scary.”

Wardrop also encouraged teens to consider the unintended consequences of a game.

“I’d just say make sure you know whose yard you’re in,” Wardrop said. “Maybe just don’t walk around holding something that looks like a gun.”

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Kaysville police warn about ‘senior assassin’ game after stranger with gun spotted in neighborhood