PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Parents in Corbett say an investigator at the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office admitted the department “dropped the ball” investigating a “kill list” made by a high school student.
Parents whose children were on the so-called “kill list” say the district did not notify them until one month after the superintendent learned about the list.
The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office told KOIN 6 News they are investigating and, as of now, they do not believe the threat is credible.
The Corbett School District superintendent, Derek Fialkiewiez, sent a video message to parents last week. Fialkiewiez said he learned about the death threats on July 15 and reported it to the sheriff’s office but was not given the “go ahead” by the sheriff’s office to tell families until Aug. 12.
“We received information about this on July 15. I immediately contacted Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, they put a deputy on it. That deputy started to investigate, and we were ready to send out communication, but the sheriff’s office informed us at this time there were extenuating circumstances that made to where we should not send out communication yet and they asked us to wait on sending communication. That go ahead was given to us last Friday afternoon,” Fialkiewiez said in the video.
On Tuesday, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said investigators never advised school officials about when to communicate with families.
The Corbett school board chair acknowledged, on Wednesday, there is a discrepancy in statements from the superintendent and sheriff’s office and said they will follow policies to gain “further understanding”.
KOIN 6 News talked to parents who say their child was on the “kill list”. One of the parents, who asked to remain anonymous, said he spoke with the investigator who explained he did not receive the report until Aug. 14.
“He had zero information on it, he had no idea that it had been reported in July. He used the words ‘we dropped the ball on this,’ I guess on not following up or it getting lost somewhere,” the parent said. “What happened to it for four weeks? I couldn’t tell you.”
The sheriff’s office told KOIN 6 News on Tuesday that they received the report of the list on July 15 and interviewed the suspect’s parents. The sheriff’s office noted they tried to interview the suspect but they were travelling out of state with family.
On Wednesday, the sheriff’s office said the report “wasn’t forwarded to detectives in a timely manner.”
According to MCSO, on July 15, a patrol deputy completed the initial investigative report. On Aug. 13, a second investigative report was completed by detectives and a patrol deputy. On Aug. 14, MCSO said detectives began further investigation including information gathering, initial interviews and review of open-source social media for more details on the reported threat.
The school district told KOIN 6 News, by law, they are not allowed to say if any action has been taken against the student. While authorities said the threat is not credible, deputies will be on campus during the first week of school.
“My child is potentially going back to school on Monday, in five days, and I want to feel comfortable sending my child to school,” the parent said. “A lot of these parents are really scared because it’s the unknown, you don’t know, we want to hear that they’re taking actions, we want to hear that something’s happening and with the discrepancies, with the inconsistencies and with not hearing anything we don’t know what to do.”