Oregon man accused of plotting ‘violent attack’ at rock climbing event

Police in Oregon arrested a man Thursday who authorities said was planning to carry out a “violent attack” during a rock-climbing event.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office said they took Samson Zebturiah Garner, 39, of Portland, into custody on charges of attempted murder, attempted assault and weapons charges when he arrived in the county.

Mr. Garner is accused of targeting attendees at the Smith Rock Craggin Classic at the Smith Rock State Park, which is about 27 miles north of Bend.

Deschutes County District Attorney Steven Gunnels said two people who know the suspect heard him talking about threatening to harm people while going rock climbing this weekend. 

The two people tipped off Portland police, who contacted the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 16. 

Event organizers American Alpine Club said Portland police also contacted them Wednesday about a “potential threat” at the event that ran from Oct. 20-22. 

“We believe [Garner] was acting alone,” Mr. Gunnels said. “We believe the fact that he’s been arrested means there’s no current threat to the public, so long as he’s in custody.”

Deputies found three handguns and an AR-15 rifle in Mr. Garner’s car when he was arrested, according to authorities.

The suspect is being held on a $10 million bond.

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