Police in Oregon have arrested Samson Zebturiah Garner, a 39-year-old man from Portland, for planning a violent attack at a rock climbing festival in Deschutes County. The arrest was made last Thursday after a tip from the Portland Police Bureau. Garner intended to target rock climbers at the Smith Rock Craggin’ Classic, a three-day climbing event hosted by the American Alpine Club at Smith Rock State Park.
According to Deschutes District Attorney Steve Gunnels, Garner had driven from Portland to Deschutes County, which was seen as a step towards committing the crime. A search of Garner’s Subaru led to the discovery of evidence related to the planned attack, including three handguns and an AR-15 rifle.
Garner’s journal entries indicated a generalized anger, but no specific targets were mentioned, as per sources from Oregon Public Broadcasting. Charging documents reveal that Garner faces four counts of attempted murder, with specific individuals named as “Belayer 1,” “Belayer 2,” “Spectator 1,” and “Spectator 2.” A belayer is responsible for handling the rope for their climbing partner.
Despite the potential threat, the Smith Rock Craggin’ Classic proceeded as planned. The American Alpine Club confirmed the incident and assured attendees that their safety was their top priority. The club expressed gratitude to law enforcement agencies for their efforts and support during the incident.
Garner has been booked into the Deschutes County Jail and is facing a total of 27 charges, including four counts of attempted first-degree murder, 15 counts of unlawful use of a weapon, and charges for assault.