Observer staff

One man died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and another man was shot in the arm in a confrontation Wednesday night in La Grande.

According to a press release from the La Grande Police Department, law enforcement responded to multiple calls of someone being shot at 2000 Gekeler Lane, an apartment complex. When officers arrived, they found several people in the parking lot, including a male who had been shot in the arm. Officers were told there was another victim inside one of the residences.

Eric Walling Jr., 19, was found deceased in an apartment.

LGPD Chief Brian Harvey said there had been a confrontation related to a domestic situation involving a woman Walling had been in a relationship with.

The residence he was found in was the female’s, Harvey said.

The Major Crime Team was activated and they obtained a search warrant for the apartment. Based on witness statements and evidence, the investigation indicates Walling confronted the male victim, whose name will not be released, and physically assaulted him. Walling then shot the man with a handgun and subsequently shot himself.

Walling was in another incident involving firearms in September 2018. Walling and another male were arrested for allegedly firing multiple gunshots at the Thunderbird Apartments on 20th Street in La Grande. Walling and the other male fled the scene. Walling was later found and arrested.

The second male is still being sought. Harvey told The Observer the firearm Walling used in Wednesday’s incident was reported stolen, and law enforcement is investigating how he had obtained it.

The Major Crime Team is made up of members of the La Grande Police Department, Union County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police.

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