MEDFORD, Ore — A former South Medford custodian is in jail after Medford Police says he planned on carrying out a ‘mass casualty event’ at the school.
24-year-old Kristopher Clay was arrested Wednesday after a two-week investigation. The suspect walked into the Medford Police Department’s lobby on July 20th, and requested to speak with an officer. He was then transported to the behavioral unit at Asante, after allegedly telling officers he had homicidal thoughts.
Detectives later seized several guns, ammunition, tactical gear, and writings at different locations throughout Jackson county. Medford Police says their investigation indicated that Clay made, “significant steps” to carry out a mass shooting.
“Everything was culminating to the point where the only next step would be the actual shooting event, ” MPD Lieutenant Mike Budreau said in a press conference Thursday. “South Medford [High School] was one of the targets and we have reason to believe there were some other targets.”
Budreau says no one, in particular, was targeted by the suspect. South Medford H.S. was a target of convenience because he worked there.
RELATED STORY: Medford man arrested for planning mass casualty event
He passed his background check and was hired at the school in February of this year according to the Medford School District.
“The mental health background does not come up on the background check, because it checks for a criminal record,” Natalie Hurd, communications director with Medford School District said. “That check came back clean and it is something that we intend to look at.”
During his arraignment Thursday, Clay initially pleaded guilty to numerous charges including attempted murder in the second degree. However, the judge wanted him to speak to an attorney first, citing, “concern based on preliminary information received.”
Budreau says individuals that were interviewed, revealed that Clay made concerning statements towards them, but didn’t believe it was serious. Budreau says it serves as a reminder for people to report any potential threats, as this situation could have escalated.
“Had he not come forward, who knows if we would have ever found out before the subject would have acted.” said Budreau.
The case remains under investigation.