BEND, Ore. — A Portland man is facing attempted murder charges after authorities uncovered his plans to carry out a violent attack at an event in Deschutes County. The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office reported that 39-year-old Samson Z Garner was apprehended on Thursday after it was discovered that he had left Portland and was in the county.
The planned attack was aimed at a rock-climbing event at Smith Rock State Park, where the American Alpine Club was hosting the ‘Smith Rock Craggin Classic’, a three-day climbing festival. The organization became aware of the potential threat on Wednesday and worked closely with law enforcement agencies and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to assess the situation and ensure the safety of everyone involved.
Authorities were alerted to the threat by detectives from the Portland Police Bureau, and a joint investigation between the two agencies led to the arrest of Garner. A subsequent search of Garner’s vehicle revealed evidence of the planned attack, including several firearms such as a Beretta 9mm handgun, a Sig Sauer 9mm handgun, and an AR-15, as listed in a charging document filed by the Deschutes County District Attorney’s office.
Potential victims of the planned attack were identified as “spectator” and “belayer”, a person responsible for controlling the safety rope for climbers. Garner has been booked on charges of attempted murder, first and second-degree attempted assault, and unlawful use of a weapon. The District Attorney’s office has assured the public that they believe Garner was acting alone and that there is no longer a threat to the public as long as he remains in custody.