Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Myrtle Creek, OR: Man killed in possible domestic disturbance

MYRTLE CREEK — A man was shot and killed in a Myrtle Creek apartment Tuesday evening and police are investigating the shooter's claim that he acted in self-defense, according to Myrtle Creek police Sgt. Kris Malek.

Police said a man called 911 shortly after 9 p.m. and told dispatchers he had shot an intruder at the Myrtle Terrace apartments at 1135 N.E. Simpson Lane.

Police identified the dead man as Brian Douglas Woodruff, 38, of Myrtle Creek. The shooter was identified as Robert Brandon Young, 28, of Myrtle Creek.

Family members on scene said a woman who lived in the apartment had a child with the victim but said the couple broke up a few years ago. The shooter was the woman's current boyfriend, according to family.

Malek said investigators were trying to determine what happened inside the apartment.

“An altercation broke out and a gun was used in that altercation and one subject is deceased inside the apartment,” Malek said. “It is an ongoing investigation to find out if it was criminal or self-defense.”

Malek said no one else was injured in the incident.

The Douglas County Major Crimes team was called in to investigate the shooting. No arrests have been made.

The shooter told an emergency dispatch in a 911 call that the man broke into the home and yelled he had a knife. Police found his body in an upstairs bedroom of the apartment.

A cousin of the shooting victim, Erica Killian, said she was shocked Tuesday evening when she read about the shooting on Facebook.

“It just doesn't seem real. I had to ask my husband, like four times, ‘What? Are you kidding me?' I had to call someone to make sure it was real,” Killian said.

She said the victim was a fun-loving father of three. Killian said her cousin's youngest son is just 1 year old.

Another cousin of the victim, Laurel Durham, said the shooter and the woman who lived in the apartment had been dating for only a few months. She said she didn't know of any “serious altercations” between the two men in the past but said the victim “probably came to fight.”

Killian and Durham, who are sisters and live in Myrtle Creek, joined several other family members surrounding the apartment complex as word spread about the shooting.

Several people wept and hugged outside of the crime scene tape surrounding apartment number 2. Investigators left the body inside the apartment Tuesday night and a handful of relatives vowed to stay just outside the apartment in a sign of support.

A woman living in a neighboring apartment, Summer Lytsell, 32, said she didn't hear any gunshots or yelling but was quickly notified about the shooting when friends called to ask if she was OK.

Lytsell said she didn't know the people living in apartment number 2 and said they had only lived there a few months.

Killian said she is still having a hard time accepting her cousin's violent death.

“I guess I hope whatever is in God's plan for the reason of this happening ... that his son, mother and brother are able to find the strength to get through,” Killian said.

• You can reach reporter Heather Morse at 541-957-4208 or by email at

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