Family and friends demand answers after a Bay Area man was shot dead in Oregon – NBC Bay Area

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Serious questions were asked Saturday night about the shooting of a young Bay Area man who was shot dead almost a week ago in the Bend resort of central Oregon.

22-year-old BJ Washington spent a lot of time in a park in Benicia, not far from his home.

Unfortunately, dozens of people remembered him at a vigil in the same park on Saturday.

“I am very shocked. I am a disbelief. I always hear about these stories, ”said Lawanda Robinson, Washington’s mother.

Robinson’s pain was still raw during the vigil, but she told NBC Bay Area that she is determined to give her son a voice.

“I really want to speak out for my son because I know there have been a lot of misleading stories out there,” she said.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Department said Washington and 27-year-old Ian Cranston got into a fistfight outside a bar on Sunday. Officials added that Cranston then pulled a gun and shot Washington once and killed him.

But Washington’s family said other men had argued with him when Cranston came up to him and Washington shot dead unprovoked.

Cranston had only been charged with manslaughter and left the prison hours later, which outraged the community.

Washington’s family believed it was a possible premeditated hate crime.

“Basically, he was telling him you can do whatever you want to him and always calling him the ‘N’ word,” said Valencia, Washington’s aunt.

The vigil on Saturday was also about honoring Washington, whom his friends and family called him a “big teddy bear” and a gentle soul.

“BJ was my best friend. I know him since first grade. He was silly. He was funny, ”said Benicia’s Chevy Franklin.

When protesters in Bend, Oregon continued to seek justice, the family said they wanted the Oregon state police to investigate.


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