Black Teen Shot Dead By White Oregon Man Over Loud Music
Robert Keegan allegedly shot 19-year-old Aidan Ellison to death in an Oregon parking lot on Nov. 23.
November 30, 2020 at 9:15 pm
A 47-year-old Oregon man is facing murder charges after allegedly shooting a Black teenager to death in a parking lot over loud music, according to OregonLive.
The tragic case of 19-year-old Aidan Ellison is already drawing comparisons to the 2012 killing of 17-year-old Jordan Davis and sparking outrage locally for how the incident is being portrayed.
According to the Ashland Police Department, both Ellison and Robert Keegan were staying at the Stratford Inn when they got into an argument at 4 a.m. on Nov. 23. Police believe that during the argument, Keegan pulled out a gun and shot Ellison once in the chest.
Ellison was "beyond help" when Ashland Fire and Rescue responders arrived, according to the Ashland Police Department.
In a Facebook post, Ashland Police chief Tighe O'Meara explained that the shooting resulted from an argument over loud music. But his phrasing, and the way he focused on Keegan's life, caused outrage. Local news outlet KTVL was forced to scrub one of O'Meara's initial quotes because it "may have been in poor taste."
Other news outlets faced backlash for focusing the story on Keegan, who was displaced by the recent Almeda Fire.
But activists who spoke to multiple news outlets said the focus on Keegan's life by both police and the press were startling considering how senseless Ellison's death was.
A candlelight vigil was held in the Stratford Inn parking lot on Thanksgiving in Ellison's honor, according to local outlet Fox26. Sunmoon Oh, a friend of Ellison, said the teen was like a brother to him and that he often experienced homelessness.
“I could tell you all the stereotypical stuff. He was special, he was kind he was a great guy, but he was so much more than that. He had nothing, but yet even if he had something he would give it to you no questions asked,” Oh said. “I see all these posts saying RIP Aiden and my heart dropped. I didn’t go to work that day, I barely ate anything that day, I just kinda sat on my bed and cried.”