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Prosecutor: Sleeping man killed in Oregon drive-by

August 19, 2014
Associated Press

COOS BAY, Ore. (AP) — A Michigan camper was shot and killed as he slept along the Oregon coast by a drive-by gunman who shot up five vehicles in a beach parking lot before turning the gun on himself, authorities said Tuesday.

Investigators have not determined a motive for the shooting. However, they suspect that Zachary Levi Brimhall might also have harmed his father, whose vehicle was found in another rural area, Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier said.

Investigators found several firearms and bomb-making materials in Zachary Brimhall's vehicle and called the Oregon State Police bomb squad, Frasier said.

Authorities have not approached the car belonging to Ray Brimhall, 58, for fear it could also contain explosives.

Authorities said David Jesse Hortman, 43, of Walker, Michigan, was shot and killed while camping at the beach. Hortman represented a recreational vehicle supply company and had decided to stay for a week of vacation after exhibiting at a local show, Frasier said.

There was no known connection between Hortman and Zachary Brimhall, 34, of Dillard, a rural community in neighboring Douglas County, authorities said.

The shooting occurred early Tuesday at Bastendorff Beach just south of Coos Bay. The area has long been a popular spot for homeless people as well as people who want to have a campfire on the beach.

About a year ago, the federal Bureau of Land Management cut maximum camping time from 14 days to 24 hours at the site and stepped up patrols due to problems.

"We have had some problems in the past with some nefarious activity out there," agency spokeswoman Megan Harper said. "We have tried to step up patrols lately and it had seemed like it was getting a lot better.'

Ray Brimhall's vehicle was found in a rural area of Coos County, Frasier said. He would not identify the area. Authorities did not say where Zachary Brimhall's vehicle was found.

Dillard Store & Deli owner Keith Sjogren said Ray Brimhall had worked at a wood products mill and lived near the store, though Sjogren had not seen him for about six months.

 
 

 

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