A man fatally shot a Black teenager in a hotel parking lot after confronting him over his loud music, Oregon police say

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  • An Oregon man was arrested and charged with fatally shooting 19-year-old Aidan Ellison at a hotel on Monday, according to local reports and The Ashland Police Department

  • KTVL-TV reported that Robert Keegan, 47, confronted Ellison in the parking lot of the Stratford Inn because of the volume of his music.

  • An argument ensued, and police said Keegan shot Ellison in the chest and killed him.

  • Keegan has been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, according to police. He pleaded not guilty to charges, Fox 26 reported. 

  • Local activists told Oregon Live that police stating that Ellison’s music was loud is “irrelevant” calling it a “frame of white supremacy.”

  • Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara responded to the criticism on Thursday saying that Ellison’s death “happened because the suspect chose to bring a gun with him and chose to use it, 100% on him, not the poor young man that was murdered.” 

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An Oregon man fatally shot a Black teenager on Monday after a confronting him for playing loud music in a hotel parking lot, according to police and local media reports. 

Robert Keegan, 47, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, reckless endangering, and unlawful weapons possession in connection with the death of 19-year-old Aidan Ellison, the Ashland Police Department said in a news release.

The shooting occurred at the Stratford Inn hotel — where both were staying — on Monday after Keegan confronted the teen about the volume of his music. The confrontation eventually escalated into a verbal dispute, then a fatal shooting, according to KTVL-TV.

“The victim had apparently been playing some music loudly in the parking lot and this upset the suspect, which caused the suspect to go down and engage him in an argument,” Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara told KTVL-TV. 

According to the news release, Keegan pulled a gun from his coat and shot Ellison once in the chest. Keegan was still on the scene when police arrived, and he was arrested immediately and taken to the Jackson County Jail.

FOX 26 reported that Keegan pleaded not guilty to the charges against him on Friday. 

 

KTVL-TV reported that Keegan had staying at the hotel after he was displaced by the Almeda wildfires in September.

Local activists criticized police comments saying that Ellison was killed because of his music and said they believe his death was race-related. “He was listening to his music too loudly — that’s irrelevant,” Precious Edmonds, a representative of Southern Oregon Black Leaders, Activists, and Community Coalition told Oregon Live.

“It doesn’t change a thing, how good the man who shot him was. All of those things are not relevant to what occurred. But that’s the narrative, that’s the frame of white supremacy,” Edmonds said. 

According to Oregon Live, Police Chief O’Meara responded to the criticism in a statement on Thursday: “It has been reported in some local media sources that I said this murder was ‘because of’ something. The only thing that caused this murder was suspect’s actions, 100%. It is completely immaterial what led up to it.”

“Yes, there was an argument over music, no, this did not happen because of loud music, it happened because the suspect chose to bring a gun with him and chose to use it, 100% on him, not the poor young man that was murdered,” O’Meara continued. 

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