KEIZER, Ore. (KOIN) — In what investigators believe was a premeditated act, a 17-year-old and his friend are accused of shooting the teen’s parents, killing his mother and seriously wounding his father.
Brett Angus Pearson and Robert Daniel Miller II stand accused of using a shotgun to shoot and kill Michelle Yvonne Pearson and wound Wilfred “Bill” Melbourne Pearson at their home in the 4800 block of Ventura Loop North at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to Keizer Deputy Police Chief Jeffrey Kuhns.
Michelle Pearson was 44. Wilfred Pearson is 57.
Kuhns said officers initially went to the home after its alarm system was triggered. The alarm company contacted police after speaking to Wilfred by phone.
Brett Pearson and Miller, also a 17-year-old Keizer resident, allegedly fled the Pearson home before police arrived.
At about 1 a.m. Thursday, Salem police officers and Marion County Sheriff’s deputies stopped the suspect vehicle at River Road North in Keizer. Brett was alone in the car and was arrested. Investigators learned that Miller had checked into a Salem hotel. They found and arrested him there.
The two teens were arrested on charges of murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Although they are juveniles, KOIN 6 News is releasing their names because they are facing Measure 11 crimes. Kuhns said there was no sign that the home was burglarized.
On Wednesday, Brett Pearson posted on Facebook that life was about to change in a number of ways, authorities said.
Pearson joked a few months ago about killing his parents, one of his friends told KOIN 6 News.
“Brett told me a couple months ago, that in a joking but serious manner, ‘I’m going to kill my parent,’” said Teya Zimick. “And we laughed, all my friends laughed because we were like, ‘You are not going to kill your parents, Brett.’ Then we talked about it a couple weeks ago and he was like, ‘Oh I know, I would never do that.’”
Zimick said she’s known both Pearson and Miller for most of her life, and called them her best friends.
“You never would think that one day you wake up and your best friends killed their parents,” she said. “I definitely think that they were not in the right mindset. Drugs played a huge part in this.”
She said Michelle Pearson was “strict but very church oriented. She loved Brett.”
But Zimick doesn’t understand what happened and why Peason allegedly shot his parents.
“I know he feels bad, I mean he’s not psychotic,” she said. “He’s probably like, ‘What did I do?’ and as well as the other kid.”
The Pearson family is active at St. Edward’s Catholic Church. The priest at the church told KOIN 6 News he spoke with Wilfred Pearson “and I was able to pray with him and he was aware and talking back to me.”
The Oregon State Medical Examiner is set to conduct an autopsy on Michelle Pearson to determine the exact cause of death.
Both suspects are lodged in the Marion County Jail and will be arraigned Friday.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call Detective Ben Howden at 503-390-3713503-390-3713.
KOIN 6 News reporter Brent Weisberg contributed to this report.