Category Archives: featured

Did Pro Boxer Win 1st Match Months After Being Shot

VIDEO –> http://www.good4utah.com/news/local-news/pro-boxer-back-on-his-feet/439314186
screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-6-22-24-pmSALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A Utah professional boxer returned to the ring Saturday night after being shot at a West Valley City WalMart six months ago.

“Being shot is not something you wanna experience, it’s, normally I don’t really like talking about it just because I get flashbacks and I start getting more angry, stressed out, and emotional,” says 28 year-old Jose Haro.

In October, 2015, Haro headed to the WalMart to pick up a few things after wrapping up a shift at work.  He says as he was leaving he encountered 31 year-old Cole Shields who said, “sup.”  Haro responded the same way.

Haro says Shields kept on him and followed him out the store and to his car.  He says more words were exchanged and an altercation took place.  Haro says he tried to walk away several times but Shields kept pressing him.  The next thing he knew Shields began firing his gun striking Haro in both of his feet.

“I just remember being on the ground and thinking about my kids and wife, and next thing I know paramedics show up and I’m at the university and I was just thinking the worst things possible.  If my feet were gonna be amputated, if I was going to be able to walk, provide for my family,” said Haro.

Shields would turn himself in to police and plead guilty to aggravated assault; he currently is sitting in jail.  Haro spent four days in the hospital and had three surgeries on his feet including a bone graft and the insertion of a metal plate in his left foot.

“My right foot, one of my right toes I lost strength and on my left foot I lost feeling in my big toe.  I have permanent stiffness in two of my toes on my left foot,” said Haro.

Haro went through one month of therapy but also did his own at home.

“Just wiggling my toes with my hands and I had my daughters and wife do it for me too,” Haro said with a small laugh.

Haro says he walked with a limp for two months and says his feet will never be the same again.  He says every night the pain in his feet worsens and he has to ice his feet everyday to help with constant swelling.  It takes him time to adjust in the morning and has to do a couple of stretches before starting his day. He also wears cushioned shoes to help with managing the pain.  Two months ago, his doctor gave him the go ahead to get back in the ring.

“As soon as he gave me the OK I just decided I gotta do it now why wait?” says Haro.

Within days he was back in the ring preparing for his comeback.

“I run everyday, I jump rope, I hit the bag, I shadow box, I spar,” said Haro.

With each step, jump and movement the pain is always there.

“I’m grateful to be here, I’m grateful to still be able to do what I love to do but to be honest with you every step that I take, when I jump rope or just move my feet they hurt,” says Haro.

It’s been a tough road for Haro’s comeback.  His professional career stood at 11 wins, 1 loss, with 1 draw and 6 knockouts.  After the shooting he lost sponsorship with a promotional company and was dropped down the list in the rankings of top boxers saying, “I’m here so I’m gonna prove the boxing world that I’m back.”

Saturday night Haro was met with thunderous applause as he entered the Riverbend Sports Complex to a massive crowd of fans as he stepped foot into the ring for the first time since the shooting.

“Once I’m in there my adrenaline goes I kind of forget about it.  I feel the pain once the bell rings once I’m resting between rounds I can feel it,” says Haro.

Haro went all six rounds against his opponent Raymond Chacon before coming out victorious by unanimous decision.

But the night wasn’t over yet, while a win lifted his spirits he had one more thing to do – proposing to his partner of 11 years and the mother of his four children.

Throughout this journey Haro says the experience has changed his life reminding him to treasure the value of family.

“Before all this happened I use to get up to go to work and go straight to work.  Now, when i get up to go to work I make sure to kiss my kids and I let them know that I love them, same thing with my wife, even when I go leaving the house to go to the gym or to the grocery store or something, I just make sure I kiss them and let them know I love them,” says Haro.

And thanks everyone who was there for him through this tough time.

“It’s been amazing, I mean, once again I’d like to thank everybody that was there for me.  All the people that helped out family, friends, and strangers,” said Haro.

Polygamist leaders face money laundering and fraud charges

http://www.good4utah.com/news/local-news/polygamist-leaders-face-a-federal-judge-on-money-laundering-and-fraud-charges/380277931

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-9-27-32-pmSALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A day after federal authorities raided several businesses in the polygamist towns of Hildale, Ut, and Colorado City, Az that led to the arrest of 11 of their leaders – two of them faced a federal judge in Salt Lake City today – indicted on federal fraud and money-laundering charges.

Lyle Jeffs, the brother of polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs, and John Wayman didn’t say much in federal court this morning as the two men entered a not guilty plea in relation to the charges.

Shackled and wearing striped Davis County jail jump suits, they remained virtually silent.  Jeffs looking somber, his head bowed the entire time, only looking up to address the judge.

Authorities raided several compounds in the polygamists towns yesterday after investigators say residents were scanning food stamp cards at stores and not getting items in return.  Instead the leaders would funnel the money.  During the hearing prosecutors argued this case isn’t about religion but a fraud scheme that took government money intended to feed poor people.

“The legal authorities preclude diversion of federal funds for purposes other than the stated purpose and so to the extent of federal monies, were diverted for purposes other than intended, that’s a crime,” says US attorney Robert Lund.

Lund says, “the court has gone into a lot of effort and expense to investigate this case to present this case to a Grand Jury.  We want to ensure that we have our day in court and that we are able to vindicate the governments interests.”

This morning prosecutors argued against setting a bail for the two men as they are concerned they would run if released.

“We have serious concerns about the defendants flight risk.  Their access to locations and resources that could help them abscond and keep themselves from the courts jurisdiction,” said Lund.

This morning Wayman retained his own counsel but Jeffs had one appointed to him.  Cathy Nester, his court appointed attorney, wouldn’t comment on the pending case but someone who did was Jeffs own son who says his father’s arrest was necessary, and says the allegations against him are legitimate. He stated he even witnessed the activity first hand.

“When I was even in the Church I asked him why we were even doing that and he says, ‘we’ll be fine and we’re 10 steps ahead of the government so there’s nothing to fear’…He knows what he’s done…the way the system worked down there people would take their food card and go down and purchase food items and give them to the store house – different things like that – every person was different.  It was just whatever dad decided should happen with their food card.  He’s the one who ultimately told everybody what to do with their food card,” said Lyle Jeffs son, Thomas Jeffs.

Thomas was present in court today as his father faced the judge.  He left the Church about 2.5 years ago and says he has not had any communication with his father in years, but he wanted to be there today to see him and to see his reaction to the allegation against him.

Someone else who was present was LeRoy Jeffs, the son of Warren Jeffs.  Both, LeRoy and Thomas say the arrest of the 11 polygamist leaders is crucial to help the people of those communities experience freedom.

“These guys dictate everything.  Down to what they wear and what they eat, and how much they eat.  So, it’s definitely going to hurt the people but good is gonna come out of it,” said LeRoy Jeffs.

The two say the the people in those towns will suffer without their leaders because they will have no one to turn to for guidance but it is absolutely necessary for them to begin thinking on their own.

They say while the absence of these 11 people are important they say others will step in to take their place.  Which is why Thomas Jeffs says, it is crucial for his uncles to also be detained, so the cycle can’t continue.

Both Jeffs and Wayman will remain in US Marshall custody pending their detention hearings.  Jeffs detention hearing is set for March 7th while Wayman’s is set for this Friday, February 26th.  Both prosecutors and defendants plan to bring witnesses forward.

If convicted the two men face several years in prison and face thousands of dollars in fines.

 

1,400 Young Latinos Attend Latinos in Action Conference

http://www.good4utah.com/news/local-news/1400-latino-youth-attend-latinos-in-action-conference/417325184

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-9-22-43-pmSALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – 1,400 Latino youth gathered on the University of Utah campus for the annual Latinos in Action Conference, a conference meant to empower and inspire Utah Latinos.

Students who gathered at the conference today say it has helped them prepare for their future.  Many said they felt lost before, as if college and a great career wasn’t in their future.  They say this conference has given them something to aspire to.

“None of my parents, or my aunts or uncles graduated from college or went to college so, I want to do that.  I want to be one of the first,” said Cynthia Isais who has attended the conference before.

Lani Garcia added, “I’m planning to graduate high school, go to college, and I want to become a dentist so that I can help my mom because she’s a single mother.”

It wouldn’t be a Latino conf without some dancing and at lunch time

Through workshops they help students become engaged in their school and communities.  To take on leadership roles and become role models to kids.  They provide them with the tools to succeed in school, and to break down the barriers that hold many Latinos back.  They also empower them to take pride in their heritage and culture.

 

Throughout the day there were performances from Mariachi bands, a DJ playing popular Latin music, and kids dancing.

“Our goal really is to place another face out there for the Latino student and Latinos in general.  We want people to see how brilliant, and how creative, and how much of a future they are within our communities,” said Jose Enriquez Executive Director and Founder of Latinos in Action.

Speaking at the event was Consuelo Castillo, who became the highest ranking Latino woman in the combat support field of the US Army and helped set records and brake barriers for Latinos.  To connect with the students she shared stories of immigrants and her experiences growing up.  One story that resonated with students in particular was the story of her mother, who was a maid.

Many of the kids said they could relate to her story and made them appreciate and respect their parents even more.

“I came here to tell those stories of yesterday, what goes on today and certainly to put in their minds that tomorrow is in their hands,” said Kastillo.

To learn more about Latinos in Action click here.

Hate crimes legislation voted down

http://www.good4utah.com/news/local-news/hate-crimes-amendments-voted-down/387160575

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-9-09-04-pmSALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The conversation on hate crimes in Utah has come to an end – at least for now – as the Utah legislature voted against Senate Bill 107 with a vote of 17 against, 11 in favor.

“It’s disheartening to see these senators who are voting against protecting Utahns, and it has a lot to do with the LDS Church and a lot to do with their statement. Our goal was good.  Our goal was to help people, help Utahns, and we gave it our all and it hurts to see it killed on the Senate floor,” said Senator Stephen Urquhart (R).

Speaking candidly following the vote that killed his hate crimes bill, Sen. Urquhart and supporters which included several law enforcement agencies and multiple ethnic and racial groups, held a strong belief that this piece of legislation would have made it through the Senate.  That was until the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement expressing concern that Sen Urquhart says essentially killed his bill.

“The Mormon Church speaks with a very loud voice up here and that killed the dialogue that I needed to pass this, but you know, everyone can tell it’s trying on this issue.  I’m not about to deny that the Mormon Church is working hard to come to terms with the LGBT movement and with LGBT Mormons.  it’s gonna get there,” says Urquhart.

Senator Urqhart says his bill would have protected every Utahn, as he says it covered everyone who has a sexual orientation, an ethnicity, a race, a gender, a gender identity, and religion.  It’s elements consisted of protecting freedom of speech rights for individuals accused of a hate crimes so that associations not related to the crime could not be used against them.  Urquhart says his bill would have also increased the penalties for people who commit hate crimes saying it would punish the act and the criminal intent. As he says every crime punishes an act and a thought.

In the case of hate crimes the senator says, “It has two elements, it’s a crime against an individual or property and it’s a crime against a community, that’s the criminal intent, that needs to be punished.  And so I hope that we pass it before to many hate crimes occur,” says Urquhart.

But opponents of the bill didn’t see it that way.  Many worried the bill was only prosecuting a thought and that this would place Utahns in categories.

“Is there any data showing any deterrent effect of hate crimes legislation?  We have about 20 states with no hate crimes laws.  Is there any data that these people that there’s less crimes committed because of hate crimes.  The answer is ‘no,’ this legislation despite the symbolic impact that it may have of people of protected classes, it does not provide protection.” said Senator Todd Weiler (R). “What it does is it singles out certain classes of people and says if you attach them we’re going to give you a stiffer sentence or penalty if you attack somebody else.  So there’s nothing about equality there.  Last thing I want to point out is that this is a thought crime.”

Senator Urquhart believes those who voted against the bill simply misunderstood what it was meant to do.

“Some people still think that hate crimes legislation only protects certain races, certain ethnicities, certain religions, certain sexual orientations, but it doesn’t.  It protects everyone and you know that might have been my failing to not do a better job for educating each member but I think at this point we have raised awareness,” says Urquhart.

He says that’s the progress of civil rights.  He says battles have to be fought and things happen bit by bit and believes this defeat has actually brought hate crimes legislation much closer to becoming a reality in Utah.

While that may be true, supporters and victims of hate crimes couldn’t help but feel disappointed by the decision that was reached today at the Capitol.

“The legislation is sound it’s really thoughtful and it includes every class of people, and to say it’s creating these new classes or putting people in these boxes, no, it creates protections for everyone and so I think what wasn’t said was that they’re showing their allegiance to their church.  Which I can accept and understand and even sometimes appreciate, but I think there’s a greater conscience that we’re looking at and I think that’s why we’re so disappointed,” said Taylor Lamont.

“The law was so carefully drafted to balance.  There has to be a substantial relationship between the intent and the crime that was committed.  So it’s just a false idea that it’s just a 1% notion that we’re punishing thought, we’re punishing criminal activity.  By not voting in support of that, this legislature said that we want to protect criminals more than we want to protect our Utah citizens,” says Rusty Andrade.

According to Utah law enforcement there have been 1,279 hate crimes committed in the state over the last 20 years, and under the current statute, not a single one of those crimes have been prosecuted.  The number one hate crime in the state targets someone’s race.  The second is someone’s religion.

“If you look at the hate crimes in the state, few are gay.  They’re racial attacks, they’re religious attacks because people go after LDS people and burn down their churches, specifically because they’re Mormon,” said Sen. Jim Dabakis (D).

So what does the future hold for hate crimes legislation in Utah.  Simply put, Sen. Urquhart says it’s going to pass it’s just a matter of when.  In response to the church’s presumed opposition to his bill Sen. Urquhart, who is of the LDS faith, says he is proud of the church.

“The Church did approach me and we had a wonderful conversation.  I’m proud of them.  I’m proud of the effort they’re making on LGBT issues.  I think it’s undeniable that they’re working on the issue.  They care about it, they care about LGBT individuals, they’re not quite there yet on this one, but they’ll get there,” he says.

Supporters of the bill say they are going to continue to fight.

“Hopefully, we can do other work on the ground to help protect them and educate them so other people wont have to suffer the way that we did,” says Andrade.

And they plan to reintroduce the bill again in the next legislative session.

Mormon Senator criticizes LDS Church following statement on hate crimes bill

http://www.good4utah.com/news/local-news/senators-criticism-of-lds-church-following-statement-on-hate-crimes-bill/373726002

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-9-00-56-pmSALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Yesterday the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement on Senator Stephen Urquhart’s hate crimes bill.  Today, the senator and supporters of the bill responded.

It was  a tense scene inside the Utah State Capitol today as supporters and law makers of SB 107 rallied together to express their frustration following what they say is the LDS Church’s opposition to new hate crimes legislation.

“Yesterday all those efforts, all future legislative dialouge, all future legislative process, they were all effectively snuffed out by a press release,” said Senator Stephen Urquhart (R), the bills chief sponsor.

The Church’s statement read:

The Utah Legislature achieved something extraordinary last year in arriving at legislation that protected both religious liberty’s and LGBT rights.  Interests from both ends of the political spectrum are attempting to alter that balance.  We believe that the careful balance achieved through being fair to all should be maintained.”

Senator Urquhart – who is of the Mormon faith – says the Church miss-characterized his bill.

“When we miss-characterize something we lose the opportunity to learn from it.  We lose the opportunity to progress.  So miss-characterizations have to be corrected, so the press release that went out yesterday it talked about a need for balance, and it talked about the spirit of the compromise of last years legislation.  Which apparently is something only the Mormon Church can interpret,” he said.

Urquhart also said he would no longer refer to last year’s anti-discrimination and religious rights bill as the ‘Utah Compromise.”

“Last years passage of anti-discrimination that afforded protections in housing and employment to all Utahns, including protections on sexual orientation and gender identity – it was historic, I remain very proud of it.  I remain grateful that the Mormon Church eventually came to the table, joined the broad coalition that had been working for many years to pass this important legislation – however, I now reject the term ‘Utah Compromise,’ to describe that wonderful legislation.  Yesterday, that term – that concept – was perverted into a club to beat back further progress on civil rights,” Urquhart said.

Sen. Urquhart says the perfect balance of that legislation is being used to equate a hate crimes bill to other bills on “other silly hapless efforts to ignore the reality of that decision,” and he says those efforts are not morally equivalent to his piece of legislation which would protect everyone including religion, race, gender, and sexual orientation.

“My hate crimes legislation does protect religious communities, it protects the LGBT communities, it protects everyone of any race – that’s all of us – of any gender, sexual orientation.  It protects all of us equally.  It protects them in the exact same way,” says Urquhart.

Senator Urquhart’s bill would define what a hate crime is including specific characteristics and increase the penalties for these crimes.  It would also provide protection for victims and defendants for any comments or associations that are not related to the crime.

The bill gained massive support from over 30 diverse groups including racial and ethnic organizations, religious groups, and law enforcement.  Victims of hate crimes also supported the bill and expressed their disappointment over the Church’s response.

“To sort of hear that backs are being turned and to hear what could have been a positive outcome not for our case but for the rest of the community, and all the people who come after us, to hear that that’s being undone is really disheartening,” says Rusty Andrade.

Rusty was a victim of a gay hate crime back in 2014.  He and a friend were walking home from a gay bar in Salt Lake City when two men attacked them.  The men responsible weren’t prosecuted.

According to law enforcement, there have been 1,279 hate crimes in the state of Utah over the last 20 years. Of those crimes 48% were racially motivated.  20% targeted someone’s faith, while only 15% targeted someone’s sexual orientation.

“It really points to the need for this kind of legislation and it points out how broadly based, how many communities it affects.  While the LDS Church has come out against this hate crime bill, there’s a broad spectrum of faith leaders, not only among the Christian community, but the Jewish community, the Muslim community, all of our many faith communities who are heralding this and are all for it,”  says Rev. Curtis Price with the First Baptist Church of Salt Lake City.

Supporters of this bill say they will continue to fight as the bill will now head to the Senate floor.

“We don’t care how long it takes, we don’t care how long the odds are, we are never going to stop fighting for our rights, for our liberties, and our families,” says Equality Utah Executive Director Troy Williams.

And District Attorney Sim Gill adds, “To Senator Urquhart: for having the vision and and the courage to offer an element of sanctuary to all citizens.  Every citizen in the state of Utah who has been harmed by this kind of crime, that they can look at a measure of justice to have that hope – and to have that hope be denied – that is a shame on all of us as a community.  It’s a shame on all of us as public servants.  It’s a shame on us as a matter of public policy.  We are better than this, our citizens deserve better than this, we have to do better than this.”

During the press conference Sen. Urquhart invited the Mormon Church to speak with him about his bill to clear any fears or concerns.  He also personally apologized to all the racial, ethnic, and LGBT Utahns who he says his bill would have protected.

Videos of private meetings between LDS leaders leaked online

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-8-39-05-pm

http://www.good4utah.com/news/local-news/videos-of-private-meetings-between-lds-leaders-leaked-online/590861820

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Tonight, 15 videos appearing anonymously on Youtube this morning under the account name “Mormon Leaks” is calling into question the leaker’s identity and motivation behind it.

“I honestly don’t know how it could happen,” said Hannah Bunker, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Released on the final day of General Conference around 7:00 Sunday morning they show presentations given to the Quorum of the 12 Apostles on a variety of high profile issues. It also shows Q&A discussion between the members.

The videos are from between 2007 and 2012 and range between 5 minutes to over an hour in length covering the issues of politics, marijuana, marriage, Islam, religious freedom and homosexuality.

In response to the videos the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says:

“Most of these videos appear to be from briefings received by senior Church leaders between 2007 and 2012.  In these committee meetings, presentations are routinely received from various religious, political and subject matter experts on a variety of topics.  The purpose is to understand issues that may face the Church, and is in pursuit of the obligation Church leaders feel to be informed on and have open discussion about current issues.  This is an informational forum, not a decision-making body.” – Eric Hawkins, Church Spokesperson.

In a seven minute video from 2011, titled “In which the Apostles obsess over Chelsea Manning’s sexuality,” they address their own security concerns.

“Could Wikileaks or a group like Wikileaks embarrass or damage the Church,” Gong says.

The focus is on cybersecurity citing the case of Bradley Manning — now a transgender woman named Chelsea Manning — who released classified documents to WikiLeaks and was convicted under the Espionage Act.  However, much of the discussion in the video surrounds the topic of homosexuality rather than security.

During the discussion, Elder Dallin Oaks adds, “I’m suspicious that the news media cover up anything involving homosexual when it would work to the disadvantage of the homosexual agenda.”

When asked if there was an investigation, any clue to the leaker’s identity or further concern over the security of the Church, a Church spokesperson said they have no further information at this point.

Reaction at Temple Square today ranged from shocked to upset.  Many were learning about the videos from the first time from our ABC4 News team.

“I just got word that these videos have came out.  It’s definitely a big concern,” said Zach Frampton, a member of the Church.

Bunker added, “Someone who believes in the Church and is faithful to the Church wouldn’t do that.”

Concerned with further security breaches or leaks Dixie Erickson said, “We need to trust in the Lord in all thine heart, lean not to our own understanding and he will direct our path and he will let us know those things as we’re suppose to know them.”

Parents Disarm Own Son in Utah School Shooting

http://www.good4utah.com/news/local-news/parent-disarms-own-son-in-mueller-park-junior-high-shooting-incident/614393829

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-9-18-21-pmBOUNTIFUL, Utah (ABC4 News) – Bountiful City Police Chief Tom Ross provided new details this evening on the investigation into the shooting incident at Mueller Park Jr. High.

Police are now saying the 15 year-old suspect had a 12-gauge shotgun and a 9mm handgun with him that he concealed underneath a long coat as he walked to school this morning.

They say the ordeal took place just as school was set to begin.  His parents concerned, about him and realizing two weapons were missing, were on campus when the shot was fired as they looked for their son.

Police say the suspect walked into a science class, without saying a word fired one round into the ceiling–he did not point the gun at anyone.  Police say he then placed the gun to his neck, and it appears he may have been trying to commit suicide.

Ross says a teacher and student were able to talk him long enough to distract him giving his mom enough time to intervene.

Police say the 15 year-old was taken to Farmington Bay Youth Center and is facing misdemeanor charges with possibility of other charges being filed including felonies.

Investigators are still trying to figure out how the suspect was able to get possession of the weapons.  They say the guns were stored in a safe inside the home.

“Our community should feel comfortable and confident in the police department,”  said Chief Ross.  “We have prepared for this over the years since Columbine.”

They say they hold regular drills and scenarios like these with agencies across counties and today’s incident shows those drills paid off.  Over 100 members of law enforcement from several agencies descended on the scene within minutes of calls coming in.

Dispatch received about 35 calls about the incident and just as many text.

ABC4 News will continue to follow this story and provide more details as they become available.

____________________________________________________________

BOUNTIFUL, Utah (ABC4 Utah)- A 15 year-old is in custody after police respond to Mueller Park Junior High School in Bountiful on reports of shots fired.

Police received multiple calls about shots fired at the school near 900 East 1800 South around 8:30 this morning.

Bountiful City Police Chief Tom Ross said it was the boys parents who stopped what could have bcome a worse situation.

According to Ross, the parents were concerned about their sons behavior and noticed two guns missing from their home.  They rushed to the school where police say the student fired one shot inside of a classroom and ran into the hallway.  He say the parents themselves disarmed their son.

“The parents of this individual, concerned about what might occur…had also come to the school and in looking for their child heard the gunshot and actually apprehended and disarmed this individual,” said Chief Ross.”

“Two weapons were recovered — a shotgun and a handgun — and as I mentioned the suspect was taken safely into custody without incident.  There were no injuries to anyone at the school.”

The news of the shooting quickly spread through the school by students texting each other and through social media.

“I just got text messages and I was just like freaking out ’cause I didn’t think that, especially in Utah, that somebody would do that here in our school,” said 9th grader Olivia Devey.  “Our whole cheer team was texting everyone and we were all staying in touch.”

9th grader, Kirsten Nielsen was involved in a group text where students were talking about what had just taken place.

“We kinda knew what was going on but at first the police said not to say anything about it,” she said.

Other students we spoke to identified the 15-year-old male to ABC4 News but we will not be releasing his name.

Students we spoke to said the suspect allegedly had two firearms, a shotgun and a pistol, and it was the shotgun that he had used to fire in to the ceiling of his chemistry classroom.  Students allege the boy was upset about a bad grade on a science test and say he had even texted friends not to come to school today.

“She said that he came into the classroom and shot the ceiling and then threatened to shoot everyone else,” said Nielsen who is quoting her friend who was in the classroom where the shots were allegedly fired.

“He’s only in one of my classes and he’s not, he’s kinda quiet and he really only talks to a few people that are his friends, I don’t know him too well,” said Devey about the alleged suspect.
A police officer nearby heard the call come through dispatch, fortunately, he was down the road and arrived within seconds.  Police say the officer arrived to find the suspect pinned down to the floor by his parents and was taken into custody.

Soon after the shots were fired the school was immediately placed on lockdown and students were ordered to stay in place.

“Law enforcement has been working with the school district throughout the morning.  First of all securing the school took us an amount of time because there was a backpack sitting in the hallway and we wanted to make sure there were no explosives or any other risks to the students,” said Chief Ross.

“Our teacher just closed off the blinds and closed both doors…so we just took down and everyone got down and sat on the floor,” says Devey.

Outside parents began arriving in crowds gathering across the street, many in tears, others hugging, cell phones in their hands and up to their ears trying to make contact with their children inside.

“I just got a phone call from my daughter saying they’re back inside their classrooms, they had to walk out of their classrooms with their hands above their head and clear out and they’re just waiting to get the clear to come home,” said Suzanne Ratta.

“He texted me and said, ‘Mom this is not a drill, I heard a gun,” said Stephanie Neslen about a text she received from her son shortly after the shots were fired.

At first they believed it was a drill but when Neslen wasn’t alerted about a drill — as is procedure at the school, she said — she became worried and immediately rushed to the school.

“It was pretty distressing, I was on my way to work and I turned around immediately and came to get him,” she said.

For her, the drive to the school felt like the longest drive of her life.

“Just the worst fear, I mean you just don’t think something like that is gonna happen hear in Utah we feel pretty safe here,” she said. “It was just shock I couldn’t believe it.”

Lockdown procedure dictates teachers are to lock classrooms and wait inside.  Law enforcement along with a school official will then go through the school, classroom-by-classroom, and clear each room.  Law enforcement does this to check every crawl space and area they think a threat may be present.  Police have confirmed there is no longer a threat at the school.

“You don’t want anything to happen on your watch and this department did a great job.  You have to put a school on lockdown, you have to go through every classroom to make sure that everything is good and not only Bountiful PD but law enforcement throughout the county came here and my hats off to them,” said Davis County School District Spokesperson Chris Williams.

Per school officials school will resume as normal but parents who are looking to sign their students out from class can do so at the LDS Church across the street from the school near 900 E and 1800 S.

Early this morning hundreds of parents gathered inside signing up on a list with their child’s name.  As the lockdown order was lifted around 11:00 a.m. students were walked by police officers in groups down towards the church where their parents were waiting.
“It sounds like they handled everything really well,” said Neslen.  “My sons texting me and says they’re safe and he says they’re talking about it and everything’s OK, so that’s comforting.”  She goes on to add, “I’m so grateful whoever that was that took care of that and I want to thank our law enforcement…I’m very appreciative of what they do for us.”

This morning school officials, law enforcement, and parents are so thankful for the quick actions of the suspects parents and police in helping prevent what could have been a much more serious and possibly deadly incident.

“I’m extremely grateful for the response from our professionals, we had well over 100 law enforcement, and emergency personnel, public safety officials — as you can see at the school — and we did what I think a community would expect,” said Chief Ross.  “I’m also extremely grateful for the parents for their involvement and the fact that this ended without any loss of life and as we continue to investigate and gather information we’ll release additional details.”