Active shooter hoax in Southern Utah sends intermediate school into lockdown

Southern Utah

SANTA CLARA, Utah (ABC4 News) – A month into the school year, police rushed to Lava Ridge Intermediate School in Santa Clara just after 11 a.m. Wednesday after the school received a call that someone had a gun on campus, according to school officials.

Steve Dunham, a spokesperson for the Washington County School District, said Santa Clara-Ivins police officers methodically searched the area, while teachers and students huddled in their classrooms with the lights off and windows shut.

Tonya Carpenter, a sixth-grader at Lava Ridge, told ABC4 News that teachers tried to calm down students who were crying while quieting other classmates who didn’t find the lockdown a “big deal.”

“My language arts teacher was telling them to ‘Shhh!’ and be quiet,” Carpenter said. “I could feel my heart beating in my chest and stuff.”

Dunham said police found nothing suspicious, and the lockdown was released at 11:50 a.m. Just 13 minutes later, the school district sent a message out to parents, he added.

“I was terrified and didn’t know what to do,” Ashley Garcia, Tonya’s mom, said. “I didn’t know whether I should go to the school with two babies or make a phone call.”

Dunham confirmed that four Lava Ridge students had made a prank phone call, and all four students are now facing disciplinary action as well as criminal charges.

“Unfortunately, these children that thought it would be something funny to do are gonna face some serious consequences because this is no joke at all,” Dunham said. “It puts a lot of lives in danger, and it upsets a lot of children and a lot of families.”

“I mean come on, it’s the 21st century,” parent of a Lava Ridge student Amanda Amidan said. “I mean they have ways of tracking where phone calls and things like that come from.”

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