COOS BAY, Ore. (AP) — A Michigan man who decided to camp at the Oregon coast after exhibiting at a local recreational vehicle show was shot and killed as he slept by a drive-by gunman who shot up five vehicles in the beach parking lot before turning his gun on himself, authorities said Tuesday.
They later said the gunman’s father was found dead in a separate location.
Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier said Tuesday that 58-year-old William Ray Brimhall of Dillard had been shot multiple times.
His body was found near his vehicle on a rural road about 50 miles from Bastendorff Beach, where authorities say his son, Zachary Brimhall, shot five cars in a parking lot, killing a Michigan man who was sleeping in his vehicle.
Frasier said Zachary Brimhall then shot and killed himself.
Frasier says a number of large firecrackers used to scare seals were found in Zachary Brimhall’s vehicle, along with materials to make an improvised explosive device.
The sleeping victim has been identified as 43-year-old David Jesse Hortman of Walker, Michigan, a representative of a recreational vehicle supply company. Frasier said Hortman had decided to take a week’s vacation after attending a recreational vehicle show in Oregon.
There was no known connection between Hortman and Brimhall, 34, of Dillard, a rural community in neighboring Douglas County.
The shooting occurred at Bastendorf Beach just south of Coos Bay around 1 a.m. Tuesday. Bastendorf Beach is on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land near state and county parks with developed campgrounds. Bastendorf has long been a popular spot for homeless people as well as people who want to have a campfire on the beach, agency spokeswoman Megan Harper said.
There are three gravel parking lots a short walk from the water. About a year ago, BLM cut the camping limit from 14 days to 24 hours and stepped up patrols due to problems with people camping there.
“We have had some problems in the past with some nefarious activity out there,” she said. “We have tried to step up patrols lately and it had seemed like it was getting a lot better.”