On December 27, 2022, Marion County Sheriff’s Detectives, along with FBI officials investigated a threat of violence directed at West Salem High School.
The investigation centered around a specific threat made by person(s) via a social media account indicating this act of violence was going to occur the day school was back in session from the holiday break, Tuesday, January 3, 2023.
Investigators determine that the threat came from a residence east of Salem and made contact with a 16-year-old and their parents. The investigation determined that there was probable cause to arrest the 16-year-old, who is home schooled, for the criminal threats directed to West Salem High School.
The investigation also showed that there was an additional minor involved, a 15-year-old student at West Salem High School. These two juveniles were referred to the Marion and Polk County District Attorney’s Office for the consideration of criminal charges. Due to the age of the suspects, names will not be released at this time.
Authorities would like to remind everyone that law enforcement and school district partners take all potential threats of violence very seriously and thoroughly investigate these incidents.
Making any kind of threat whether in person or online, is illegal and has serious consequences. Police are committed to working together along with the community to diligently and swiftly find out who is responsible and take the appropriate action as was done in this case.
When probable cause exists, appropriate enforcement action will be taken.
Authorities say they are focused on ensuring the safety of students, school staff, and community members as they respond to these incidents.
Police want to continue to encourage students, parents, and school staff to immediately report any information that poses a threat to the safety of others. Authorities also wanted to remind everyone to use the SafeOregon system as a great resource to report suspicious activity.