Eugene Police have identified two South Eugene High School students who were involved in the four South Eugene High School threats this month. EPD detectives along with local FBI agents have contacted two students involved in initiating the threats. They and their families have been cooperative in the investigation. Information will be turned over to the Lane County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution, however their names are not being release because they are juveniles.
Investigators believe the local suspects used the internet to pay another person or entity to use threats of violence to shut down the school. The identity of this person or persons continues to be under investigation. Investigators are confident all threats were a hoax and there are not any active threats to the school. These same threats have been occurring at schools throughout the country.
EPD detectives have been actively coordinating with investigators from schools throughout the country, sharing information that has been crucial in understanding how this operation worked. Earlier this month the FBI took lead on tracking down the person or persons making the calls while EPD took lead on locating the local suspects paying for the service. EPD detectives have been in constant contact with 4J staff and have actively followed up on any leads that have come in.
A break in the case occurred when a 4J school official located an anonymous social media post offering to send threats for a fee. This information was turned over to EPD, who requested the FBI’s help in initiated legal process with the involved social media platform. The information generated greatly assisted the investigation leading to follow up contacts. On Tuesday, EPD detectives and FBI agents served a search warrant which led to the seizure of multiple electronic devices.
Bomb threats were made for South Eugene High School on May 24, May 16, May 10, and May 3. A person called the police department, claiming to be inside the school armed with explosives and in some of the calls the person claimed to be armed with a firearm and threatening to harm people. For these incidents, Eugene Police conducted interior and exterior searches and follow up investigations. The FBI and 4J staff have been instrumental in this investigation.
The threats greatly disrupted classes, test taking, and caused significant stress to students, families, and school staff, as taking critical patrol and special team resources away from regular calls for service from the community.