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Tigard man charged for threatening a mass shooting at a Sherwood elementary school

Braeden Riess, 26, is facing state and federal charges after he made threats online to shoot children at a Sherwood elementary school.
Credit: Iurii Gagarin - stock.adobe.com

TIGARD, Ore. — A Tigard man is facing a federal charge for threatening a mass shooting at a Sherwood elementary school, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon announced Friday.

According to the U.S. Attorney and the Washington County DA's office, Braeden Richard Riess, 26, sent multiple threats online to a federal agency on May 15, threatening to shoot children at Middleton Elementary School before killing himself. The agency notified police, and officers arrested Riess the next day at his apartment in Tigard. 

Parents of students at the elementary school were notified of the threats and arrest, officials said. 

Riess was indicted by a federal grand jury for the federal crime of interstate communication of a threat. Last month, he was also arraigned in Washington County on six counts of disorderly conduct, which is the maximum available charge under Oregon law, according to the Washington County District Attorney. 

Because state law "does not provide adequate means to address the threats of mass violence to public places," according to the Washington County DA, their office referred the case to the U.S. Attorney for additional federal prosecution. In a separate news release, Sherwood police echoed the DA's frustrations and noted police worked with a judge to set a higher bail amount for Riess, given the "limited scope" of the initial charges.

Before he was arrested, Riess admitted to sending the threatening messages and to owning a pistol that his parents had taken away several years earlier, according to the U.S Attorney's office. 

Riess made his first court appearance on the federal charge Friday and pleaded not guilty. If convicted, Riess faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, three years' supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. 

He is being held at the Washington County jail. A trial is scheduled to begin on August 16. 

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