Arrest Made in Foiled Attack Plot at Smith Rock Craggin Classic

PORTLAND, Ore. — A 39-year-old man from Portland has been arrested in Deschutes County for allegedly planning a violent attack at the Smith Rock Craggin Classic at Smith Rock State Park.

The Smith Rock Craggin Classic, a 3-day climbing festival, began on Friday and was the target of the planned attack. Detectives with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office were alerted to the threat by Portland police on October 16. The man, identified as Samson Z. Garner, had been planning the attack during the festival.

The American Alpine Club, organizers of the climbing festival, were informed of the threat and worked closely with law enforcement agencies and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to ensure the safety of festival attendees.

After closely monitoring Garner, law enforcement officials spotted him leaving Portland for Deschutes County on October 19. The Deschutes County SWAT unit took him into custody around 2:20 p.m. on Thursday and a search warrant on his car revealed evidence of the planned attack.

Deschutes County officials expressed gratitude to the Portland Police Bureau for sharing the information about Garner, which likely prevented a major incident. The investigation indicates that Garner was acting alone and there is believed to be no continued threat at this time.

Garner has been booked into the Deschutes County Jail on charges of attempted murder, attempted 1st-degree assault, attempted 2nd-degree assault, and unlawful use of a weapon. The investigation is ongoing, and no further information is available at this time.