Dispute over loud radio at barbecue prompts deadly shooting in Nordland | UPDATE

Posted 8/27/20

An argument over a loud radio at a barbecue escalated into a fatal shooting Wednesday in Nordland, according to a police account of an alleged first-degree murder Aug. 26.

John Paul …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Dispute over loud radio at barbecue prompts deadly shooting in Nordland | UPDATE

Posted

An argument over a loud radio at a barbecue escalated into a fatal shooting Wednesday in Nordland, according to a police account of an alleged first-degree murder Aug. 26.

John Paul Beckmeyer, 59, was arrested late Wednesday afternoon and booked into jail on possible charges of first-degree murder with a deadly weapon and fourth-degree assault.

Police were called to a property at 270 Griffith Point Road in Nordland just after 5:30 p.m. Wednesday after a woman called 911 and said a man had been shot in the chest.

Deputies from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, along with officers from the Port Townsend Police Department, immediately responded and found Beckmeyer with a gun inside his fifth-wheel trailer.

Officers also saw a man with a gunshot wound on the ground outside the trailer. Paramedics confirmed he was dead.

Paramedics from East Jefferson Fire Rescue took Beckmeyer to Jefferson Healthcare after he claimed he could not stand up due to an earlier neck and back injury.

He was cleared at the hospital and taken into custody by the sheriff's office, interviewed, and booked into jail.

The victim, described as a 24-year-old Nordland man, has not been identified.

WITNESSES DESCRIBE ARGUMENT

Police interviewed two witnesses to the shooting, including the woman who had called 911.

She said she lived on the property with her grandfather and the person who had been killed.

Beckmeyer was living in the fifth wheel with his girlfriend, and the group was having a barbecue and drinking late Wednesday afternoon.

At one point, Beckmeyer allegedly complained to his girlfriend that she was playing the radio too loud and asked her to turn it down.

When she didn't, Beckmeyer allegedly hit her in the face.

One of the other witnesses, and the man who was later shot, told Beckmeyer not to hit a woman.

Beckmeyer then allegedly got up and went into his trailer, telling the group he was going to get his gun.

The man who was shot walked back to the house nearby and came back a few minutes later holding a double-barrel shotgun.

The man with the shotgun stood near Beckmeyer's girlfriend and the other person at the barbecue; a witness said the shotgun was open and couldn't be fired.

The witness also claimed Beckmeyer started shooting out a bedroom window from inside the fifth-wheel, and shot the man armed with the shotgun at least once.

The victim was starting to walk away when he collapsed.

Police found multiple bullet holes in the fifth-wheel trailer during the investigation, according to a statement of probable cause submitted to the court.

FIRST COURT HEARING

Beckmeyer made his first appearance in Jefferson County Superior Court late Thursday morning by video.

Beckmeyer, who was being held in the Jefferson County Jail, slowly entered a room at the jail for videoconferencing for his first court hearing. He was dressed in an orange prisoner's garb and walked with the assistance of a metal walker.

Jefferson County Chief Criminal Deputy Chris R. Ashcraft said the prosecutor's office would not be filing charges in the case until Monday.

Superior Court Judge Keith Harper agreed to give the prosector's office until Monday to file charges.

"The state will be ready by then," Ashcraft said.

After being read his rights, Beckmeyer said he did not have money for a private attorney and asked for a public defender.

"I'm going to have to have a public defender, sir,” Beckmeyer told the judge.

Ashcraft said Beckmeyer has only lived in the area for several years, and had been living on property owned by another family member.

Beckmeyer has lived in other states and also had a previous assault conviction in Coos Bay, Oregon, Ashcraft said.

"His ties to this community are not very strong," Ashcraft said.

"I think he's a danger to the community," Ashcraft added.
Harper said conditions of Beckmeyer's release and bail would be subject to further discussions at his next court appearance Monday.

Bail was initially set at $200,000, and Harper said Beckmeyer could not have any contact with witnesses, use drugs or alcohol, possess weapons, or visit the scene of the alleged offenses.

He must also appear in court as directed, Harper said.

Comments

2 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment
Really

He killed a man and still made bail?

Thursday, August 27, 2020
Insain2

The article didn't "Say" he made bail ......

If you check the Jeffco jail roster he's still there along w/2 others on the same type of charges.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020