SHOOTING VICTIM CRITICAL

July 08, 2002 12:00 am
INVESTIGATING SHOOTING: Union County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Ward investigates the scene where a 19-year-old Tacoma man was found shot  near Upper Perry. (Observer photos/PHIL BULLOCK).
INVESTIGATING SHOOTING: Union County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Ward investigates the scene where a 19-year-old Tacoma man was found shot near Upper Perry. (Observer photos/PHIL BULLOCK).

A Tacoma, Wash., man remained in critical condition in a Boise hospital this morning after being shot Saturday and left beside a road west of La Grande.

Union County District Attorney Russ West identified the man as Russell George Wilcoxson, 19.

West said Wilcoxson was the victim of a gunshot wound and that the man had been left for an unknown period of time beyond the railroad trestle near Upper Perry west of La Grande.

West said motorists discovered Wilcoxson seriously injured and unconscious from a gunshot wound at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

The man was first transported to Grande Ronde Hospital and then flown to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. A hospital spokeswoman said this morning she could only reveal that he was in critical condition, usually described as having unstable vital signs, with major complications. The spokeswoman said she could not say if Wilcoxson was conscious or not.

The incident is being investigated by the Union County Major Crimes Team led by Union County Sheriff's Deputy Jim Voelz. Detective Pat Montgomery of the Oregon State Police and Sgt. Phil Myer and Detective Jason Hays of the La Grande Police Department and other members of their agencies are assisting, West said.

Investigators were to return to the scene early today, Montgomery said this morning.

Montgomery said investigators had not talked to the man but were hopeful he would regain consciousness and communicate with investigators.

Asked in what part of the body the man had been shot, Montgomery said that information was not being released at this time.

West has asked that anyone with information regarding the shooting or anyone who saw any suspicious vehicles or people in the area of Upper Perry between Friday night and Saturday afternoon to call the Sheriff's Office at 963-1017.

— Ray Linker