In the early hours of Sunday 27-year-old Ian Cranston shot and killed 22-year-old Barry Washington Jr. outside of a downtown Bend nightclub, officials say.
Initial reporting suggested Cranston shot Washington after he complimented Cranston’s girlfriend and asked her out, once at the bar and later outside. Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said there is no indication Washington said or did anything inappropriate during the interactions, and that Cranston’s girlfriend politely turned him away, saying she was flattered but in a relationship.
Some of Washington’s family disputed that narrative on social media, saying Washington had been harassed by the same men once before, claiming he was assaulted and called racial slurs. A press release from the District Attorney’s office says that they have learned more about the incident over the last several days.
“Since the arrest of Mr. Cranston, additional evidence has been obtained. Much of this additional evidence was obtained from members of the public who came forward and shared information that was not known to the police when they arrested Mr. Cranston,” the press release said.
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- Barry Washington was 22 and had just moved to Bend a month prior to his death.
Family members and community members expressed outrage that police charged Cranston with second-degree manslaughter rather than murder, and that he was freed Sunday afternoon after posting 10% of his $100,000 bail.
There’s no guarantee what charges Cranston will face, that will be decided by a grand jury prior to his October 5 court meeting. Hummel and his deputy attorneys will present evidence and recommend charges to the grand jury.
“Pursuant to Oregon law, no person shall be held to face felony criminal charges unless a grand jury issues the charges. Every month there is a new panel of seven randomly selected members of our community who sit as the Deschutes County Grand Jury,” the press release said.
In the same press release, Hummel lamented the loss of life and said he’s committed to earning the trust of Washington’s family during legal proceedings.
“Barry’s family lost one of their own and our community lost a young, black man in the prime of his life, on a downtown street for a senseless reason. Barry’s life mattered and our community needs to show his family that we know this. Barry’s family should not trust me – how could they? They don’t know me. It is incumbent on me and my team to earn their trust by our actions. I commit to doing this,” Hummel said. “At the same time, Ian Cranston is presumed innocent, and in fact is innocent, unless and until my office proves his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In all cases I embrace the presumption of innocence, and this case will be no different.”