A 12-year-old Hermiston boy, allegedly inspired by the creepy clown craze, was taken into custody Thursday afternoon and charged with first-degree disorderly conduct after threats of gun violence were made to students at Sandstone Middle School.
According to Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston, a fictitious Instagram account was set up under the name James_4.0 with a picture of a clown serving as the profile photo. Edmiston said a message about shooting up the school was then sent to more than one student around 11 p.m. on Tuesday. Edmiston said the message was shared numerous times on social media.
After officers interviewed several students, the 12-year-old was charged and taken into custody at the detention center in Pendleton.
Edmiston said Hermiston School District officials played a key role in assisting the HPD.
“The flow of information from the school administration to our officer was phenomenal,” Edmiston said. “Our officer was able to piece this entire incident together and identify the 12 year old as the person behind the message. We have no information of any past problems with this student and we believe this unfortunate decision to be an isolated incident spurred by the national phenomenon taking place.”