Fatal shooting of Black teen roils liberal town in Oregon

ASHLAND, Ore. — The killing of a young Black man last month by a white man who complained that he was playing loud music has roiled Ashland, Oregon.

The slaying has forced the liberal college town famous for its Shakespeare festival to take a hard look at race relations.

The Nov. 23 death of 19-year-old Aidan Ellison added another name to the list of Black men and women whose killings have sparked a nationwide reckoning with racism.

Robert Keegan, 47, fired a single shot into Ellison’s chest in a motel parking lot after he reportedly awoke to loud music. He is being held without bail after pleading not guilty to second-degree murder, manslaughter and other charges.

Ashland Tidings reports Keegan claimed he was defending himself, but an autopsy and investigation showed no evidence of that.

Citing a probable cause affidavit, Ashland Tidings reports Keegan told investigators Ellison punched him in the face multiple times, but the autopsy showed no marks on Ellison’s hands indicating he punched someone and officers reported Keegan had no visible facial injuries when he was arrested.