Two young adults and a minor have been charged with a threatening graffiti incident in November.
The three suspects had no connection to the local schools and reside in Clark County, Wash. Police believe they had no means or intent to carry out the threats that targeted McKay High School specifically and others more generally.
On Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 3:37 a.m., officers from the Keizer Police Department responded to a report of threatening graffiti that was found painted on garage doors of at least four residences and a residential fence in the Country Glen neighborhood in north Keizer.
News of the graffiti spread rapidly in the media and online. The Salem-Keizer School District issued an auto-dialer letting parents know they were aware of the messages and attendance at several area schools dropped significantly in the following days.
Three residences in the 1400 block of Horizon Ridge Drive NE had graffiti painted on their garage doors, while another residence located in the 6800 block of Jakewood Court NE had graffiti painted on the fence that bordered its property. Messages included: “School Shooting today @MKAY;” “29+ Dead today bombs everywhere,” and “Sandyhook2” among others.
In addition to the graffiti on private residences a stop sign and park sign were vandalized.
A Keizer police detective and a school resource officer were assigned to investigate the incident and the five-week investigation resulted in three suspects alleged to be responsible for the crimes.
Christian Lane Thomas, 18, of Vancouver, Wash., was cited and released on Nov. 17 after the investigating officers located and interviewed him in Camas, Washington. He was issued a criminal citation to appear in Marion County Circuit Court on Dec. 18 for disorderly conduct and criminal mischief. Thomas failed to appear at his court appearance a warrant has been issued for his arrest. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Thomas is asked to contact their local law enforcement agency or the Keizer Police Department at 503-390-3713. Tips can also be emailed to Tips@keizer.org
On Nov. 29, investigating officers located and interviewed a 17-year-old male in Vancouver who is also alleged to have taken part in these crimes. A report of their contact with the boy was completed and referred to the Marion County Juvenile Department for prosecution of the alleged disorderly conduct and criminal mischief.
On Dec. 20, Christopher Bensch, 18, of Vancouver was cited and released after investigating officers located and interviewed him in Vancouver, Washington. He was issued a criminal citation to appear in Marion County Circuit Court on Jan. 11, on the same charges as the first two suspects.