BASTENDORFF BEACH, Ore. — Three men are dead in what appears to be a murder-suicide in Coos County early Tuesday morning.
Multiple agencies were on scene Tuesday at the South Jetty Parking Lot of Bastendorff Beach, which was completely closed to the public for most of the day as investigators worked through the scene.
It was all a very scary awakening for a camper looking for a night of peace on the Oregon Coast.
Coos County resident Mark MacPherson says, “About ten minutes after one in the morning, I heard a couple of thuds at my van door and I thought somebody was throwing rocks at me or something.”
But what MacPherson heard wasn’t rocks.
“And all of a sudden, my rear window shattered inwards and I realized I was getting shot at,” says MacPherson.
MacPherson says he’s safe and sound now, but the fear was there.
“It was terrifying not knowing what was going on and why I was getting shot it. I didn’t know if was a personal attack or random. I was worried that other people might have gotten hit or that he was gonna turn around and finish me off,” says MacPherson.
But others weren’t so lucky. The Coos County Sheriff’s Office says two five vehicles in all were hit by bullets. Two men were found dead at the scene, 43-year-old David Hortman, a Michigan man who was about to spend a week vacationing on the coast after wrapping up a business trip, and the suspect, 34-year-old Dillard resident Zachary Brimhall.
Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier says, “After he fired those rounds, apparently, Mr. Brimhall shot and killed himself in his car.”
Police say inside the suspect’s car they found several guns and what appeared to be bomb-making materials. In an effort to locate Brimhall’s family, investigators say they found reason to believe he may have harmed his father, Raymond Brimhall. Raymond Brimhall was confirmed dead Tuesday afternoon. His body was found shot multiple times, outside his car, in a rural part of Coos County about 50 miles from the beach. Little is known about exactly what happened at both scenes and Frasier says the investigation is far from over as many questions still remain regarding the suspect’s mental and physical state of mind.
Frasier says, “So there’s that that we need to look at. Obviously drugs, we’re gonna need to run those tests on blood samples and what have you and toxicology reports. So, we’ve got several weeks of work ahead of us.”
Families of both the victims and suspect have been notified about what happened. Investigators are still looking into a motive behind the shootings.