Keizer residents woke up to a scary sight early Wednesday morning when they saw graffiti threatening a school shooting, a bombing, and “Sandy Hook 2” scrawled on multiple properties.
According to the Keizer Police Department, several homes, fences, a gazebo and a stop sign were tagged with graffiti in the area of Horizon Ridge Drive between 10 p.m. Tuesday and 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Officers said a newspaper delivery person saw the messages and reported them.
Many of the messages threatened a school shooting at McKay High School in Salem.
Neighbor Shaney Starr walked outside to let her dog out in the early morning and was stunned by the view across the street.
“It was the first thing that I saw and my heart sank and you just get that feeling in your stomach - unbelievable,” Starr said. “White garage door and black spray paint threatening a school shooting is a pretty unsettling way to start your day.”
The Salem-Keizer School District told FOX 12 the threat isn’t believed to be credible, but they were still taking it very seriously.
Classes at all schools were held as usual, and district officials put out a voice message to all parents and asked Salem and Keizer police, as well as the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, to step up patrols around all schools.
Wednesday morning, the district also convened its security and threat assessment team to field phone calls from parents, disseminate information to principals and schools, and keep in close contact with investigating police.
Monitors in the room streamed surveillance cameras showing real-time images inside and outside McKay High as well as other schools.
“We are very serious about what we are doing today,” district spokeswoman Lillian Govus said. “We know our kids are safest when they are with us. We take their safety as our biggest priority.”
Maria Ibarra has a freshman daughter who attends McKay High School and told FOX 12 she got the message from the district.
Ibarra said she dropped her daughter off at school but that her daughter asked her to come back and get her.
“She told me ‘Mommy I don’t feel safe right now, so I prefer you to come and pick me up,”’ Ibarra said, adding that she also feels scared because of recent mass shootings and the lack of respect some students show.
Back in Keizer, Keith Fajer got to work scrubbing the violent messages off his fence and the sidewalk outside his home.
“I didn’t want the kids to see that walking to school this morning,” Fajer said. “I feel very disappointed in whoever took the time to do this – I’m not angry as much as this is serious enough that we are going to get to the bottom of this.”
“We live in a time where you have to take everything so seriously,” Starr said. “People need to think about who they are impacting, and it’s not funny.”
Keizer police continue to investigate the graffiti. Anyone with information on the case is asked to give them a call.
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