Who is Kristopher Clay? Ex-Oregon school janitor who stocked weapons for mass shooting arrested
JACKSON COUNTY, OREGON: Local police said that Kristopher Clay, a janitor at an Oregon high school, planned to shoot down kids and instructors at the school where he worked and had made extensive preparations for the killing rampage news outlets reported on Thursday, August 5.
News of the shooting comes months after the harrowing shooting outside a Times Square theatre that left three injured including a four-year-old girl. The country has seen a rise in violent crimes in recent months. According to reports, 687 people were injured or killed in police-reported gun violence through June 6, which is the most since 2000.
Early last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a first-in-the-nation executive order declaring gun violence in New York a 'disaster emergency'. Joe Biden in March called on Congress to “immediately pass” legislation to close loopholes in gun background checks and ban assault weapons.
Who is Kristopher Clay?
Kristopher Clay is a 24-year-old former janitor at South Medford High School. According to Medford School District communications director Natalie Hurd, he started working at South Medford High in February. On July 20, he surrendered to Medford police, apparently confessing to detectives that he had "homicidal thoughts." He remained in police detention until Wednesday, August 3 when he was formally arrested, the Daily Beast reported. He is currently being held in the Jackson County Jail on $2 million bail following his initial court hearing set for Thursday.
“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 Lt. Mike Budreau said to the news outlet. “Thank goodness that happened. Had he not turned himself in, I don’t think we would have figured this one out before it happened.”
Thank god this man turned himself in and sought help! 🙏🙏🙏 Janitor Kristopher Clay Stockpiled Weapons for Mass Shooting at South Medford High School, Police Allege https://t.co/jeUuaSiSYS— Nancy Mahony 😷 (@nancy_mahony) August 6, 2021
Clay had told other individuals about his schemes and murderous intentions, according to Budreau, but they didn't take him seriously and didn't report him to the authorities. “There was no specific motive other than mass casualty,” Budreau said. “We don’t believe it was some kind of grind with the school that led him to want to carry out a mass shooting. We believe this individual had these ideations well before to being employed there. They’re not recent.”
Hurd, like Budreau, claimed that the school was unaware of Clay's plans. He had shown no hostility against the school or "behavioral red flags" that would have prompted an inquiry, she added, and his initial background check had come up clean. “We’re fortunate that he had a moment of clarity where he turned himself in,” Hurd said to the Beast.
Police executed search warrants at Clay's house after the first questioning and inquiry. Officers discovered firearms, ammo, tactical gear, and “written material”, which, according to Budreau were "journals, if you will, or manifestos". The would-be gunman had a precise date in mind for the attack and had written about attacking other sites in addition to the school. However, police found no information suggesting he had any accomplices.
After police said he "made significant steps to carry out a mass casualty event," Clay was charged with attempted second-degree murder and other criminal offenses, CNN reported. According to a news release from the Medford Police Department, the accusations also include attempted first-degree assault, two counts of unauthorized use of a firearm, and tampering with physical evidence.
Clay was previously banned from lawfully getting weapons due to a court ruling that he was mentally ill. Budreau claimed he told investigators he acquired gun components online and complete weapons through his in-person social network. According to Hurd, police scoured the school and found no immediate threats to kids or teachers, nor did Clay store firearms there. While he was in jail, Clay resigned.