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Police: Sex misconduct occurred on A3 property over a period of years

Police worry that Michael Fisher's death may discourage more victims from coming forward.

Posted: Feb. 2, 2018 4:12 PM
Updated: Feb. 5, 2018 4:28 AM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Michael Fisher, principal of the Academy of Arts and Academics, was under investigation for sexual misconduct involving children when he hanged himself in his garage on Thursday, police said.

Investigators said the alleged misconduct happened on school property over a period of years.

The investigation began Wednesday morning when a former A3 student contacted the school and said she'd been victimized by Fisher. Police said a detective flew "literally across the country" that day and interviewed the young woman face-to-face.

No other victims have come forward at this time, police said.

MORE: Director of Springfield school commits suicide, investigation will continue

Police confronted Fisher about the allegations on Wednesday. Shortly afterwards, officials said, Fisher went to a pawnshop near the school and tried to buy a gun, but a former student who worked there told a friend, who then contacted school officials.

Fisher went to another store and this time bought a .38-caliber revolver.

When school officials learned that Fisher was attempting to buy a weapon they placed the school on modified lockdown.

Police went to Fisher's house on Wednesday and asked him why he had purchased the firearm. Fisher explained that he needed it for self-defense now that has was being accused of misconduct.

Police asked him to voluntarily surrender the weapon, which he did.

Fisher was placed on administrative leave following the lockdown as police investigated.

RELATED: Parents wary of Springfield school during investigation

Springfield police wants to hear from anyone who went to A3 or Thurston High School who was subjected to inappropriate behavior. They are specifically interested in hearing from students who attended A3 between 2006 and 2018 if they have information on the allegations.

Fisher first came to the district in 1990 when he taught at Thurston High School. In 2005, he began planning work on A3. The school became a charter school in 2009.

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