Man accused in Washington music festival shooting may have been on psychedelic mushrooms

Jun 21, 2023, 6:01 PM

QUNICY, Wash. (AP) — The man accused of fatally shooting two people and wounding several others at a Washington music festival Saturday told police he was high on psychedelic mushrooms and believed the world was ending, according to court documents.

U.S. Army Spc. James Kelly, of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, is facing two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault and domestic violence assault in Washington state’s Grant County Superior Court, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. Kelly, 26, appeared in court Wednesday but did not enter a plea, news outlets reported. He is being held without bail.

Efforts to locate an attorney representing Kelly weren’t successful Wednesday.

Kelly and Lily Luksich, who have dated for about a year, together attended the Beyond Wonderland electronic dance music festival at the Gorge Amphitheater, court documents said. Kelly told police he took psychedelic mushrooms before walking to the concert venue, according to court documents.

Kelly then started hallucinating and told Luksich they needed to return to the campground. “This is the end,” he told Luksich, court documents said.

At their campsite, Kelly allegedly got a handgun from a locked box in the console of his pickup truck. He allegedly loaded it and fired at Seattle couple Brandy Escamilla, 29, and Josilyn Ruiz, 26, who were walking by, court records say. They died at the scene.

Reports of a shooting came in around 8:20 p.m. Saturday, according to the North Central Washington Special Investigations Unit, which is leading an investigation into the shooting.

Andrew Caudra, who is also known by August Morningstar, of Eugene, Washington, was shot next. He was in stable condition at Harborview Medical Center on Tuesday, investigators said.

At the campground, Kelly then started to walk away, and Luksich followed him and dialed 911, court records said.

“She told dispatch her man had a gun,” according to court records. “Then no more information could be provided because Kelly took her phone and discarded it.”

Security employee Lori Williams was hit by a bullet while responding to the shooting report, investigators said. The bullet went through the windshield of her utility vehicle and struck her glasses and the side of her face, investigators said. She was treated for bruises and cuts at at the scene.

Kelly then allegedly fired at a Grant County Sheriff’s Office drone and shot Luksich twice, investigators said. The 20-year-old from Mill Creek, Washington, was treated at a Moses Lake hospital and has since been released, investigators said.

Officers found Kelly and Luksich in a field next to the campground. Moses Lake Police Department Detective Edgar Salazar, who was working undercover at the festival, shot Kelly once before other officers provided aid and took Kelly into custody, investigators said. Salazar has been placed on leave during the investigation.

Kelly was treated at a Spokane hospital and later booked into Grant County Jail. He’s next scheduled to be in court July 5.

United States News

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Man accused in Washington music festival shooting may have been on psychedelic mushrooms