Teen pleads guilty to school shooting at Bountiful junior high

Student fired into ceiling at Mueller Park Jr. High

FARMINGTON, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - A 15-year old pleaded guilty to shooting a firearm at Mueller Park Junior High last December.
The teen also admitted to stealing the firearm.  Three other charges were dropped as part of the plea bargain.

On December first, the teen went into the classroom at Mueller Park Junior High and in front of students, fired once into the ceiling.

"(He) was desperate for some help for lack of a better word," said his attorney Lindsay Jarvis. "He had actually reported this to individuals prior to this point that he was hurting and he was struggling and this was just a desperate effort to get that attention he was desperately seeking.

But police say his mother who realized the weapons were missing from their home, came to the school and talked him into giving up his weapons.
 
"They have second guessed everything," Jarvis said. "They've had months to go back and think of all the things that have happened in (his) life and what they could have done differently. When the reality was this was (his) decision. He's the one who who did it. But the parents are very much involved in (his) life, phenomenal parents. So this has been very hard for them."

Bountiful police released body camera recordings of his arrest.  His mother was next to him as officers handcuffed him.  On the ground was a back pack with two firearms and ammunition, according to Bountiful police.

When asked how far the teen was willing to go before his mother stopped him, Jarvis said it could have been deadly.

"I truly believe 100% that (he) was hoping that there would be a suicide by cop most likely," Jarvis said.

Jarvis said she was grateful that prosecutors agreed to keep him in the juvenile system.   As part of the agreement, she said he'll get psychiatric help while in juvenile detention. She said technically he could remain in juvenile detention or at a halfway house until he's twenty one.  But Jarvis said it could be less for good behavior.  He'll be sentenced February 23.
 


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