SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — A 21-year-old man was arrested after police said he threatened a mass shooting targeting children.
Terek Fleming of Midvale, Utah was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail Wednesday, Oct. 23, facing charges of making terroristic threats and threats of violence.
Police were alerted to the messages Fleming allegedly sent by a woman who lives in Sanpete County.
“The threats involved killing particular individuals, as well as shooting up a children’s hospital,” said Sgt. Melody Gray of the Unified Police Department. “We are never going to take them idly.”
Investigators said Fleming did not specifically name a hospital, but because he lives in Salt Lake County, Primary Children’s Hospital was placed on lockdown for 13 hours and Shriner’s Hospital was on heightened security. Sanpete Valley Hospital was also placed on lockdown.
“You’re taking three separate hospitals that had some harsh implications,” Gray said.
Several agencies across the state took precautions, including University of Utah police.
“We took it very seriously,” said University of Utah Police Lt. Jason Hinojosa.
Officers set up extra patrols outside Primary Children’s Hospital in case the threats became something more.
“It seems that the active shooter is becoming too common,” Hinojosa said. “Just out of an abundance of caution and just in case if anything did happen to materialize, we wanted to have officers in place.”
Police said in the current climate, no threat can be overlooked.
“When you are talking about killing children and going to a specific place to kill children, that is going to be taken seriously,” Gray said.
Officials with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office said more charges could be added.