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Observer 11/24/14

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Home arrow Opinion arrow One victim of shooting was suspect's foster father

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One victim of shooting was suspect's foster father

BAKER CITY — Authorities say one of the men shot and killed in a deer-hunting camp near Granite in northeastern Oregon was the foster father of the 14-year-old boy identified as the shooter.

Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer said Friday that two guns were involved — a hunting rifle and a revolver — and the shootings occurred about the same time, with one victim shot inside the cabin and one outside.

The victims were identified as 43-year-old Michael Piete, the foster father, and 64-yeart-old Kenneth C. Gilliland, both of Baker City. The name of the teen was withheld by authorities because he is a juvenile.

Authorities say after the shootings another person at the deer camp held the boy at gunpoint while police were notified. The boy apparently accidentally shot himself in the leg.

Palmer would not say whether a motive had been established.

Authorities said the boy was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Baker City, then flown to St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise, Idaho. Linda Payne Smith, vice president of marketing and communications at the hospital, said Thursday evening she could not comment on whether the boy was still at the hospital, or what his condition was.

The cabin on the edge of the Umatilla National Forest is southwest of Granite on private land off a U.S. Forest Service road, authorities said.

Hunting has long been a pastime in the area.

In the 1970s and 1980s, sawmills would close for the first week of deer season and kids would skip school so families could go to hunting camp, said Mike Wickert, owner of Discount Firearms in Baker City. Now the sawmills are gone and deer are less plentiful

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