(Update: adding city council statement)
Police say one Bend man shot another during fight around midnight
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Grieving friends and family of a 22-year-old Bend man shot and killed over the weekend on a downtown Bend sidewalk gathered at the shooting scene late Monday afternoon to create a memorial of balloons, pictures and candles that spelled out 'RIP.'
On Tuesday, all seven Bend city councilors released this joint statement:
“We mourn the loss of Barry Washington Jr., who was killed this weekend in Downtown Bend. He was a son, a friend, and a member of this community. We must dig deep and examine ourselves and the systems and culture that have brought us to the point where a young person is shot and killed in our downtown. Gun violence is a routine part of life in other places. We do not accept it here. Mr. Washington's death was totally preventable. We call on the community to come together and focus on how we can prevent these tragedies from happening in the city we all love. We call for justice and support for Mr. Washington's family as they grieve this tragic loss.”
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel told NewsChannel 21 what investigators had learned so far about what led up to Sunday's early-morning shooting on the corner of Wall Street and Oregon Avenue.
Hummel said a conversation occurred inside The Capitol, a downtown bar, late Saturday night. He said 22-year-old Barry Washington Jr. of Bend was out with friends when he approached a woman in the bar to compliment her. According to Hummel, the woman said she was flattered, but in a relationship. That was the extent of the interaction.
Later, shortly after midnight, Hummel said Washington Jr. approached the same woman again, this time on the street corner outside the bar. Hummel said it's unclear if Washington Jr. recognized her, but he complimented her once more.
"There's no evidence that what Mr. Washington did when he approached the woman was inappropriate," Hummel explained. "There's not an allegation that he groped her, grabbed her, was crass with her. He complimented her in a respectful manner. She was fine back. She said, 'No, thank you. I'm flattered but I'm in a relationship.' No allegation that anything Mr. Washington did was inappropriate."
Still, the woman's boyfriend, 27-year-old Ian Cranston of Bend, was nearby and was "not happy" with Washington Jr.'s actions, Hummel said.
"He said some words to Mr. Washington. Mr. Washington said some words back," Hummel said. "There was some pushing, some jostling, some punches thrown, but then it calmed down. It was not going to get out of hand. Then Mr. Cranston pulled a gun out of his waistband and shot and killed Mr. Washington."
Hummel said Cranston "acted completely inappropriately" and called it a "homicide with no justification."
Hummel said Cranston had a concealed handgun license, and that a handgun was recovered at the scene He also told NewsChannel 21 that it's "too soon to say" whether drugs or alcohol were contributing factors to what occurred.
When police were called to the scene at 12:11 a.m. Sunday, they found Washington Jr. on the sidewalk with a single gunshot wound. He was taken by ambulance to St. Charles Bend, where he later died of his injuries.
Cranston was detained at the scene and taken to the Deschutes County Jail, where he was booked around 8:30 a.m. on a second-degree manslaughter charge.
His initial bail was set at $100,000, and he posted the required 10 percent and was released Sunday afternoon, pending an initial court appearance on Oct. 5, Chief Deputy District Attorney Mary Anderson said Sunday.
Hummel said Monday, "Me and my deputies will be asking the grand jury to return an indictment and charging Mr. Cranston. "We're still deciding what level of crime we're going to be asking for -- whether we'll be asking for murder or some other degree of homicide."
Washington's family and friends made it clear what they're asking for.
"We just want justice, the right way, like the rest of the world would, if their loved one was killed in cold blood just like this," said Bryant Langston, Washington's cousin.
Online court records show Cranston has no criminal history in Oregon.
Cranston was a machinist at Nosler, a bullet manufacturer with offices in Bend and Redmond. A spokesperson for the company told NewsChannel 21 he was surprised to hear about Cranston's involvement in the shooting.
He said everyone who works there has to pass a criminal background check, and Cranston's came back clean. He said Cranston was hired last October, but is now suspended during the investigation.
Second-degree manslaughter, a Class B felony in Oregon, involves a killing that “is committed recklessly,” under Oregon Revised Statutes 163.125.
Washington Jr.'s family and friends flew in from the Bay Area to honor their loved one, bringing flowers, balloons and candles and placing them on the ground in the very spot where he was fatally shot.
"We're here," Washington Jr.'s aunt, Valencia Roberson, told NewsChannel 21. "He didn't just die here. He's going to be reborn here as well, because they will remember who Barry Washington Jr. is."
Roberson and other family members said Washington Jr. had just moved to Bend from Northern California to start a new life.
"Barry was just a big teddy bear," Roberson said. "He's a protector of everyone. Just fun-loving, trying to get away from drama and follow up with his music career."
Bend police are asking community members if they have video, photos or witnessed the fatal shooting to contact police through the non-emergency dispatch line at 541-693-6911.