Utah Parents Disarm Son in Middle School Classroom
The boy fired his weapon at the ceiling inside of a classroom packed with students.
Police are praising a mother and father who disarmed and detained their son after he fired a shotgun inside of a Utah middle school Thursday.
No one was injured in the incident and the boy has been booked on suspicion of theft of a firearm and taking a weapon into a school, according to The Washington Post.
The parents thought their son was acting strangely before he left for school that morning in a large black trench coat. Minutes later they discovered the pistol and shotgun they keep in a safe were missing from their home in Bountiful.
The parents rushed to Mueller Park Junior High School and began searching for their son, who has not been identified because he is juvenile. As the parents rushed through a Mueller Park hallway just after 8 a.m., they heard a gunshot nearby.
Their son had just fired the family’s 12-guage shotgun into the ceiling of a ninth-grade science class, sending the 27 people in the room, including 26 students, into a panicked frenzy as some hid under desks and others pleaded with the boy.
“A teacher and a student in that classroom immediately engaged him verbally in trying to talk him out of doing this,” Bountiful Police Chief Tom Ross said in a press conference. “I believe those seconds played a big role on the outcome.”
The parents quickly arrived in the classroom after the gunshot, with the mother grabbing the weapon and pulling the boy into the hallway. The boy’s father then physically detained him until police arrived.
The classroom’s teacher called 911 to report the situation at 8:13 a.m. and a patrol officer nearby arrived at the school in just 41 seconds. Police recovered the shotgun, a 9mm pistol and boxes of ammunition for both weapons at the scene.
“I was expecting much worse than what happened,” Chief Ross said. “To have this event unfold at a junior high school and have no injuries, including to the suspect, is pretty amazing.”
The school went into lockdown as more than 100 officers swept the building. Students were released to parents around 11 a.m.
Now investigators are searching the boy’s cell phone and computer to determine possible motives for the crime and police are commending the boy’s parents for their swift actions.
“Thank goodness they did not wait and went to the school to find him,” Bountiful Police Lieutenant Dave Edwards said.
Classes resumed on Friday at Mueller Park, which teaches around 840 students in seventh through ninth grade.