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

President Joe Biden speaks to the media as he arrives to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force B...

Associated Press

President Joe Biden says it was a ‘mistake’ to say he wanted to put a ‘bull’s-eye’ on Donald Trump

Biden told NBC News Monday that it was a “mistake” to put a “bull's-eye” on Trump, but argued that Trump's rhetoric was more incendiary.

34 minutes ago

Associated Press

Border arrests plunge 29% in June to the lowest of Biden’s presidency as asylum halt takes hold

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Arrests for illegally crossing the border from Mexico plunged 29% in June, the lowest month of Joe Biden’s presidency, according to figures released Monday that provide another window on the impact of a new rule to temporarily suspend asylum. Arrests totaled 83,536 in June, down from 117,901 in May to mark […]

44 minutes ago

FILE - People walk past May Hall, the main administrative building at Dickinson State University in...

Associated Press

President of Dickinson State University in North Dakota resigns after nursing faculty quit

DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) — The president of Dickinson State University in North Dakota announced his resignation on Monday, days after the school’s nursing faculty quit. In a video, Steve Easton announced his departure and acknowledged “turmoil between some in the faculty and the administration.” Seven faculty members resigned Wednesday, KFYR-TV reported. Former Assistant Professor of […]

58 minutes ago

Associated Press

FACT FOCUS: A look at false claims around the assassination attempt on former President Trump

The assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump, who is running for reelection, is fueling a range of false claims and conspiracy theories as authorities seek information about the 20-year-old shooter’s background and motive, how he obtained the AR-style rifle he fired at Trump and security at the venue that failed to stop the shooting. […]

1 hour ago

FILE - Christina Osborn and her children, Alexander Osborn and Bella Araiza, visit a makeshift memo...

Associated Press

Judge clears way for demolition of Texas church where 26 people were killed in 2017 shooting

FLORESVILLE, Texas (AP) — A judge on Monday cleared the way for the demolition of the small Texas church in Sutherland Springs where a gunman killed more than two dozen worshippers in 2017 in what remains the deadliest church shooting in U.S. history. Following the shooting at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, the church […]

1 hour ago

RNC Chair Michael Whatley speaks during the Republican National Convention Monday, July 15, 2024, i...

Associated Press

Outside RNC, conservative group defends its Project 2025 guidebook as Democrats ramp up attacks

MILWAUKEE (AP) — At the edge of the cordoned-off perimeter around the Republican National Convention on Monday, hundreds of conservatives filed into the ornate home of the Milwaukee Symphony to hear a parade of luminaries talk policy and Project 2025. Project 2025 is the term for the Heritage Foundation’s nearly 1,000-page handbook for the next […]

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

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