Oregon school custodian accused of planning 'mass casualty event,' police say

A former custodian at a high school in Oregon is facing several charges, including attempted second-degree murder, after police said he "made significant steps to carry out a mass casualty event."

Kristopher Clay, a 24-year-old who worked as a custodian at South Medford High School in Medford, Oregon, is also charged with attempted assault, tampering with physical evidence, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, police said. 

Clay on July 20 arrived at the police station and told an officer he was having homicidal thoughts with plans to carry them out, according to the Medford Police Department. Clay was then taken to an area hospital behavioral unit in protective custody. 

Police then conducted multiple search warrants and found ammunition, firearms, tactical gear and written material.

"The investigation indicated Clay made significant steps to carry out a mass casualty event," police said in a statement.

kristopher clay

A booking photo shows 24-year-old Kristopher Clay. (Photo credit: Medford Police Department)

Clay, who was employed as a custodian at the time, was fired by the Medford School District. Police contacted school officials and conducted a "thorough sweep of the high school to ensure there were no active threats." 

Authorities said Clay has no known prior criminal convictions but is prohibited from possessing firearms due to a previous court order. The investigation revealed he had obtained firearms "through various channels."

He was arrested and charged in the case on Aug. 4 after being discharged from the hospital. 

"The Medford Police Department would like to thank the many agencies involved in this case, and we are relieved a potentially catastrophic event was prevented," the statement concluded.

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This story was reported from Cincinnati.