2 Utah high school football players killed, 1 injured in shooting
Jacob Scholl, KSL.com
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (KSL.com) — Two teenagers, ages 14 and 15, were shot and killed on a sidewalk Thursday morning and another teen, also 15, was shot and critically injured. Four young teens have since been taken into police custody.
The two teens who died were freshmen football players at Hunter High School and the injured teen is a sophomore football player. The shootings took place about 10:50 a.m. along 4100 South, between the northbound and southbound lanes of the Mountain View Corridor, according to the West Valley police.
Police believe two groups of students who knew each other began fighting along the south side of 4100 South before the gunshots rang out. The suspects in the shooting then ran away from the scene, said West Valley police spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku. Investigators don’t know exactly why the two groups were fighting, she said.
“There were kids flying everywhere trying to get away!” a woman who asked only to be identified as Angela told KSL-TV.
She said she was driving on 4100 South when she heard three to four loud bangs, but didn’t immediately associate them with gunfire. But then she noticed people scattering and saw two teens, including one carrying a gun.
“I saw him shoot at this one kid and I saw him go down and just hit the floor or the ground and he just was in so much pain,” she said. “It was the scariest thing ever. And they went over and they kicked him in the head and then they ran away.”
West Valley police said the 15-year-old boy was in critical but stable condition at a hospital. The names of the three Hunter High students have not yet been released, but that information could be released later Thursday, police said.
Initially, police said three people were taken into custody. However, they later announced that a fourth person had been arrested. Police say three of boys arrested are 14 and the other is 15. A motive for the shooting was still unknown as of late Thursday afternoon. Police said they believe there was no continuing threat to the public.
“As far as I know, the people involved are high school students,” Vainuku said, adding that police were in the process of notifying family members of the deceased.
Officials noted that while names of the individuals have not been released yet, “word spreads quickly, particularly among teenagers.”
School district spokesman Ben Horsley encouraged students in need to speak to grief counselors who are available through the Granite School District.
“Our hearts are broken that this occurred,” Horsley said.
Additionally, the shooting investigation is expected to take several hours, meaning closed roads and traffic delays for those in the area.
Both northbound and southbound lanes of the Mountain View Corridor will be closed from 5400 South to 3500 South. For eastbound and westbound lanes, roads will be closed from 5600 West to 6000 West while police continue the investigation. It was not clear when exactly police planned to reopen the roads.
The shooting led several nearby schools to temporarily shelter in place, including Hunter High School, Hunter Junior High School, Hillside Elementary School and Whittier Elementary School. Those orders were lifted just after noon, except for Hunter High. Students there were released from classes and allowed to go home around 12:45 p.m.
This story will be updated.
Contributing: Matt Rascon