Staff walks students home after police response prompts soft lockdown at school

Posted at 5:12 PM, Mar 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-17 22:03:07-04

SOUTH SALT LAKE — A junior high school was put on a soft lockdown and security precautions were taken for some students at an elementary school Thursday afternoon as police responded to a suicidal subject who was possibly armed.

Gary Keller, South Salt Lake Police Department, said police responded to a home near 3000 South and 200 East where a man was in mental distress and was believed to be suicidal. Because they believed the man may have been armed, police notified nearby schools to take precautions.

FOX 13 News first heard report of the incident around 3 p.m.

Ben Horsley of the Granite School District said Granite Park Junior High School was on a soft lockdown as police responded to that incident. Horsely said the school waited until enough staff was available to walk students home before releasing students. As of about 6:30 p.m. the district had escorted all children home.

Students who attend Wilson Elementary School and live near the area of the police response were taken by bus to the junior high school so that they could be walked home by staff or sent home with a bus/police escort.

Police said they ultimately decided to withdraw from the immediate area to avoid the possibility of the situation escalating to violence. Authorities said they would be taking steps to ensure the well-being of the man who was in distress.

FOX 13 News does not generally report on suicidal individuals unless there is a broader impact to the public, as in the case of a soft lockdown at a school.