Soldier ID’d as suspect in campground shooting of five people, two fatally, near music festival venue


(QUINCY, Wash.) — A 26-year-old active-duty member of the U.S. Army has been identified as the suspected gunman who shot five people, two fatally, at a campground near a music festival in Washington state over the weekend, authorities said.

The soldier, Spc. James M. Kelly, who is stationed at the Joint Base Lewis McChord, was taken into custody after he was shot and wounded by an undercover police detective, who once served in the U.S. Marines, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.

The shooting unfolded about 8:25 p.m. Saturday at a campground near the Gorge Amphitheatre in Quincy, Washington, which at the time was hosting the Beyond Wonderland electronic music festival.

Kelly was treated at a hospital for his injuries and booked at the Grant County Jail on suspicion of murder, officials said.

It was not immediately clear is Kelly has hired an attorney or will be appointed a public defender.

A motive for the deadly shooting rampage remains under investigation by the sheriff’s office and the North Central Washington Special Investigations Unit.

Killed in the incident were 29-year-old Brandy Escamilla and her fiancée, Josilyn Ruiz, 26, both of Seattle, according to the Grant County Coroner’s Office.

The sheriff’s office identified the victims wounded in the shooting as 31-year-old Andrew “August Morningstar” Caudra of Eugene, Oregon; 20-year-old Lily A. Luksich of Millcreek, Washington; and 61-year-old Lori Williams, who was working as a security guard at the music festival.

Luksich attended the music festival with Kelly, who allegedly shot her in her lower extremities, according to the sheriff’s office.

Williams was responding to the shooting in a utility task vehicle when she came under fire.

“During her response, she encountered the suspect who shot in her direction multiple times,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “Williams was struck by a single bullet that penetrated the windshield and struck her in the right side of her face, shattering her glasses and causing bruising and lacerations.”

Escamilla and Ruiz were walking through the campground when they were randomly shot and killed, officials said.

Undercover Det. Edgar Salazar, a member of the Moses Lake Police Department, also responded to the reports of gunfire and confronted Kelly, whom he located with Luksich in an agricultural field adjacent to the campground, according to the sheriff’s office. Kelly was allegedly firing randomly into a crowd when he was shot by Salazar, the sheriff’s office said.

Other law enforcement officers took Kelly into custody and provided him with medical aid.

The 35-year-old Salazar, who was working undercover at the music festival, previously served in the U.S. Marines and is a firearms instructor and street crimes detective, according to the sheriff’s office.

The shooting prompted promoters of the electronic dance festival to cancel the event’s second day.

Lt. Col. Mike Burns, a U.S. Army Special Operations Command spokesman, said in a statement that Kelly joined the Army in 2021 and is a fire support specialist assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

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