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DCSO deputies arrest homeless man who was shot by another man during dispute near China Hat Road south of Bend

(Update: Adding formal charges, name, background)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A 32-year-old resident of the homeless encampments off China Hat Road south of Bend who was shot by another man during a dispute on Sunday has been arrested on attempted assault and other charges, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said Tuesday.

An investigation by deputies and detectives led to the arrest of Edward Alexander Baer without incident, Sergeant Jason Wall said. He was booked into the county jail on charges of first-degree attempted assault, menacing, pointing a firearm at another, first-degree theft and felon in possession of a firearm. He was held without bail pending arraignment, jail records show.

Baer was scheduled for arraignment Wednesday on six initial formal charges: first-degree attempted assault with a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon, felon in possession of a firearm (convicted on a felony drug possession charge in California in 2012), first-degree theft, menacing and pointing a firearm at another.

Deputies said Monday that a dispute between two men living in the area of homeless camps off China Hat Road south of Bend Sunday afternoon led to both men displaying guns and one shooting the other, who was taken to St. Charles Bend with non-life-threatening injuries.

Deputies were dispatched around 4 p.m. Sunday to the report of a man being shot south of China Hat Road, near milepost 2, Wall said.

The reporting party “was not cooperative” with 911 dispatchers and refused to provide any further information, other than that a person had been shot, Wall said.

Dispatchers were still able to give deputies an approximate location of the incident. They arrived to learn Baer had been taken by Bend Fire ambulance to St. Charles Bend with non-life-threatening injuries from a single gunshot, the sergeant said.

An investigation determined two men who live in the area were in an altercation when the 32-year-old man presented a gun, Wall said. As a result, the 36-year-old man also armed himself and fired his gun, striking the younger man in the hand and abdomen.

An uninvolved third man brought the wounded man to China Hat Road, where he was contacted by Bend Fire medics and taken to the hospital.

“Investigators located all evidence related to the incident and were able to contact and interview all witnesses,” Wall said in the initial news release.

Wall confirmed Tuesday that Baer was the one wounded in Sunday's shooting, but could not provide further details.

District Attorney Steve Gunnels said Tuesday he had yet to receive reports on the incident, but noted that it appeared some or all of the arrested man's alleged crimes occurred before the shooting.

He said the scenario as described by the sheriff's office "suggests self-defense" by the second, 36-year-old man, "which would be consistent with the arrest decision."

Baer also has pleaded not guilty and faces an August jury trial on charges late last year of first-degree theft and felon in possession of a firearm.

DCSO deputies said at the time that Baer was one of three transients trying to steal an RV in the area south of Bend who were pursued by two others when it became stuck; a confrontation led to gunshots, one striking a woman in the shoulder.

Neighbors who heard the gunshots while out in their yard said it's nothing out of the ordinary: "Not only are there people living across China Hat and discharge firearms at odd hours, but they shoot at people. So that makes me very, very insecure," one said.

Neighbors who wished not to be named told us Monday they can see right into the encampments from their backyard. The trash from the homeless camp blows into their yard every day, and every night, they say they see fires lit up.

"We'd been in our home two or three years at the time, and we encountered a man in our yard, and he was yelling. And we called for law enforcement, and he wandered off before law enforcement got there," they said.

Noise, large fires, gunshots, drug arrests, trash: That's what another neighbor says they've complained about for years.

The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says they proactively patrol the area, but don't have a dedicated deputy right now.

A neighbor said despite all the worrisome sights, sounds and concerns, their area still has its pluses.

"Well, I love the neighborhood, I love my neighbors," they said. "My old college buddy, he and his wife that I've known for over 50 years are right around the corner. Yeah, and I love walking the dog around this area. But I wouldn't like to get shot at, or physically harmed -- or even killed."

Article Topic Follows: Crime And Courts

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Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

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Isabella Warren

Isabella Warren is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Isabellahere.


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