Gorge Amphitheatre reopens after deadly shooting that killed 2
Jul 10, 2023, 7:34 AM | Updated: Jul 13, 2023, 2:39 pm
(Photo from KIRO 7)
After a deadly shooting that killed two people at the end of June, the Gorge Amphitheatre reopened to audiences July 7.
The band Dead and Company, a jam band including former members of the Grateful Dead, played two shows at the venue, July 7 and July 8.
Grant County Sheriff’s Office provided extra security for the event and will increase their presence at the venue to assuage any fears.
“We’ve just went through a terrible tragedy in our community here. And we want people to come to the doors, the ticket holders, the campers, everyone who’s coming out here to and feels as safe as possible,” said the Grant County Sheriff’s Office told KIRO 7.
James Kelly, the suspect in June’s fatal shooting at the Gorge Amphitheatre campgrounds, pleaded not guilty to all charges July 5. He faces two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault, and one count of domestic violence.
Officials at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) confirmed June 22 police in Grant County arrested a JBLM soldier for the mass shooting.
Court documents released June 21 reported Kelly may have been hallucinating on psychedelic mushrooms at the time of the incident.
Kelly had gone to the Gorge for the Beyond Wonderland music festival. He and his girlfriend set up a tent at the campground June 18.
He told police that before walking over to the concert venue, he took a dose of mushrooms, despite having a “bad hallucination experience” from a previous dose.
Kelly said that while at the concert, he started to hallucinate again and thought the world was ending.
His girlfriend said she and Kelly returned to their campsite with Kelly insisting, “This is the end.”
Kelly got his handgun he had stored in a lockbox in his truck, loaded a magazine and stepped out from the vehicle with the weapon in his hand, according to KIRO 7.
The two people killed were an engaged couple from Seattle, identified as 26-year-old Josilyn Ruiz and her fiancée, 29-year-old Brandy Escamilla. The soldier is also accused of shooting and injuring 31-year-old Andrew Cuadra, who goes by August Morningstar, of Eugene, Oregon, and Lily Luksich, 20, of Mill Creek.
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With reports of gunfire at the campground quickly spreading, a Crowd Management Services employee drove to the scene. Police say Kelly fired at her vehicle. The bullet pierced the windshield and hit her glasses, crushing them, and leaving the worker cut and bruised.
Kelly continued shooting, hitting a Grant County Sheriff’s drone that was overhead.
Court documents show Kelly then shot his girlfriend in the foot and in the upper leg, causing her permanent injuries.
Kelly stopped after an officer shot him. He remains in custody after being treated for his injuries at a Spokane hospital.
Lieutenant Colonial Mike Burns said that Kelly is from Ohio and assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment. Kelly joined the Army in 2021.
Contributing: KIRO 7