January 25, 1998

Suspect says he and friends only wanted to retrieve guns

Brian Coddington The Spokesman-Review
 

They went to Jeremy Moore’s apartment unarmed. No one was supposed to get hurt.

The plan was to get their guns back and leave. Moore was not supposed to be home.

Instead, the 20-year-old man answered the knock at his Spokane Valley apartment door and things quickly turned violent, said Christopher C. Gober, one of three men charged with killing Moore.

During an interview Saturday afternoon at the Kootenai County Jail, Gober said he didn’t intend to shoot Moore. He said he felt threatened and reacted.

“I felt that my life was in danger,” Gober said. “I felt that Alan’s life was in danger.”

Spokane County prosecutors have charged Gober, 19, of Post Falls, Edward “Alan” Burrow, 22, of Post Falls, and Gary B. Olive, 30, with first-degree murder. Detectives have said in court affidavits that Gober shot Moore in the head at close range with a short-barreled shotgun. Investigators said Moore died instantly. They have not given a motive or discussed why they believe the murder was premeditated.

Saturday, Gober offered this account of the Dec. 23 shooting:

He, Burrow and Olive went to the apartment at 10101 E. Main Street to retrieve $3,000 worth of guns Moore had stolen from them in a dispute over a $200 debt. Moore’s roommate, identified in court records as Kevin Heaton, had told them during a telephone conversation earlier in the day that Moore would not be home.

Heaton told the men he would let them in to take the guns, said Gober, who would not say what the debt was for.

The three men were surprised when Moore answered the door, but followed him to a back bedroom. An argument ensued and “Jeremy pistol-whipped Alan.”

Burrow staggered around the room in a daze. Olive - whom Gober called “Junior” - watched from the hall. Gober picked a shotgun off the floor.

“Then (Moore) brought the gun toward me and I shot him,” Gober said in a soft voice.

Gober contends he fired the shotgun to defend himself and his friends.

“He was threatening Alan. He was threatening me,” he said. “He was threatening everyone in the apartment.”

The three men grabbed the pistol and another shotgun before running out of the apartment in a panic. They drove away in a black Ford Tempo Gober had borrowed from his aunt.

A few blocks from the apartment, Gober slowed at an intersection and Olive jumped out. Deputies are still searching for him.

Gober dropped Burrow off a few minutes later, then drove home before leaving town for several days. He and Burrow met at a Coeur d’Alene duplex in early January.

Kootenai County sheriff’s deputies surrounded the duplex early the next morning and arrested Gober, Burrow and five other people. Burrow has since been extradited to Spokane, where he is awaiting trial.

Meanwhile, Gober expects to begin serving a five- to 16-year prison sentence in Boise on unrelated convictions for aggravated assault, intimidating a witness and escape. He said he hopes to be sent to Spokane to quickly resolve the pending murder charges.

Gober could not explain why Moore hit Burrow with the gun or pointed it at him. He cited Moore’s drug habit as the reason the situation got out of control.

“He was an all-right person and then he got back on crack,” Gober said.

“That’s why all this happened. He had been smoking crack all day. You could tell.”

Gober said he has been in and out of the court system for several years, mostly for stealing things. He showed little emotion during the 20-minute interview, except when he spoke briefly about his family and Burrow.

“Can you tell my family I love them and my (girlfriend) Shoshoni I love her also?” Gober asked, fighting back tears.

Gober said he plans to testify as a defense witness for Burrow.

“He didn’t do nothing,” Gober said. “It wasn’t premeditated or anything. I don’t want to see my best friend go down.

“I’m just scared they won’t listen to what really happened.”

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