One Dayton man is in critical condition and another has been arrested after a shooting early Sunday, June 6, at Shangri-La River Ranch RV Park just west of Dayton, officials said.
Justin G. Carl, 40, was injured in the chest and abdomen and was transported to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, according to the arrest report. Columbia County Prosecuting Attorney Dale Slack told the U-B that Carl is in critical but stable condition.
Joshua B. Wilson, 25, was arrested Sunday, June 6, for investigation of the shooting.
According to the arrest report filed by Columbia County Sheriff Joe Helm, a witness told deputies Wilson was responsible for the shooting at 1:30 a.m. at 104 Rose Gulch Road. Later, Wilson told authorities he was attempting to shoot what he thought was an animal in some bushes.
Willard Norton, who had an RV lot near the victim’s, heard what sounded like a large animal attacking something in a bush near his trailer. He got Wilson, the RV park owner’s son, for help, according to the report.
When Norton said he thought he saw “yellow eyes” looking out from the bushes, Wilson fired his shotgun into the vegetation, hitting Carl, according to the arrest report.
Upon seeing that a man was shot, Wilson told Norton that he was going to call 911 and get his father, RV park owner Gary Wilson. He left the scene with the gun and never called 911, according to the report.
Authorities found him about 10 hours later in the trailer of another Shangra-La resident. After being read his Miranda rights, Joshua Wilson initially claimed Norton borrowed his gun and shot Carl, the report stated.
But after learning that witnesses — including the victim himself and the victim’s wife, Stephanie Carl — claimed he was responsible, Joshua Wilson admitted he shot the gun. He also admitted to hiding the weapon and led deputies to its hiding place in some bushes, the report detailed.
The Washington State Patrol trooper assisting Columbia County said the gun was fired from a distance of about 85 feet away from the victim, according to the report. Deputies found bullet holes in a nearby car and an RV belonging to a couple from Lewiston “in the direct line of fire” as well.
Joshua Wilson is being held in the Columbia County Jail under investigation of second-degree assault, for the shooting, and tampering with evidence, for allegedly hiding the weapon.
Slack said his office is still working with the investigating agencies to determine what charges to formally file.