Oregon high school janitor with ‘homicidal thoughts’ surrenders to police before planned school shooting

A court had previously determined he wasn’t fit to own guns

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A high school janitor in Oregon bought weapons and made written plans for a mass shooting before eventually surrendering himself voluntarily to police, allegedly confessing he had “homicidal thoughts”.

On Wednesday, police in Medford, Oregon, formally arrested Kristopher Clay, 24, a janitor at South Medford High School, who’d surrendered late last month.

An interrogation and search warrant followed, and police say they uncovered guns, ammunition, tactical gear, and “written material” about the school shooting he planned to carry out.

“Why he turned himself in is the million dollar question. I believe that he did a lot of planning and a lot of sinister thoughts, but he had that moment where he wanted help,” Medford police lieutenant Mike Budreau told The Daily Beast.

“Thank goodness that happened. Had he not turned himself in, I don’t think we would have figured this one out before it happened.”

Clay allegedly mentioned his plans to those around him, who didn’t take his statements seriously.

He began working at the school in February, where officials say he didn’t display any outward animosity or raise any red flags in an employment background check.

However, according to police, a court had previously barred Clay from purchasing guns because of mental illness. As a result, he purchased his weapons from a combination of websites and in-person from those close to him.

Clay has been charged with attempted murder, first-degree attempted assault, attempted unlawful use of a weapon, tampering with evidence, and felony disorderly conduct, on $2 million bail.

He initially said he wanted to plead guilty, but later said he would speak with a public defender after a judge reminded him of the penalties of the charges against him during an arraignment on Thursday.

“I’d just like to remind folks that any time you hear talk of mass or school shootings or anything that should be of concern, don’t discount it – report it, let us look into it and see if it has any veracity, because what we saw in this case was that it absolutely did,” Lieutenant Budreau told KEZI.

Despite the global pandemic, gun violence never paused in the US, killing nearly 20,000 Americans in 2020, more than any other year in the last two decades.

According to recent figures, 2021 is set to have even more mass shootings than 2020.

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