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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Details about half-brother’s death reveal rocky bond

Court documents reveal a strained relationship between two half-brothers that left one dead and the other behind bars.

Ryan R. Ames, 22, was arrested Tuesday night on charges of second-degree murder after he allegedly shot and killed his half-brother, David McCarthy, outside the Ames’ home on the 12000 block of East 31st Avenue. Spokane County sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene after Ames called 911.

Ames told deputies that McCarthy had assaulted his mother, father and brother multiple times between 7 and 13 years ago, according to court documents.

The documents don’t indicate that McCarthy had any history of domestic violence. Ames does not have a violent criminal record. The men’s mother declined to comment.

Gloria Green lives across the street from the family in a quiet suburban neighborhood. Green said she has lived in the neighborhood 13 years, and her children grew up playing with Ames.

“Ryan’s a good kid,” she said.

It wasn’t the first time McCarthy showed up at the house, Green said. He has stopped by many times over the years, hollering at the house and then leaving.

“He’s over here disturbing them and threatening their lives all the time,” she said. “Ever since I’ve been here he’s always been a problem.”

Ames told deputies he hadn’t spoken to his half-brother in more than a year because of the assaults and threats, according to the documents.

That changed Tuesday night when McCarthy showed up at Ames’ residence. McCarthy called out to Ames, asking for a cigarette and motioning him over to his car. Ames refused the requests twice then told McCarthy, “I got something inside the house for you,” before going inside, according to court documents.

Ames told his mother, who was in the home, to give him her gun, the documents say. His mother refused, but Ames went to his bedroom and grabbed his shotgun and three cartridges.

Ames loaded the shotgun and went outside, but McCarthy had left. Ames left the shotgun in the back seat of his car, then his brother returned and walked toward him.

Ames retrieved the gun again and told McCarthy to leave the property, according to court documents. McCarthy continued to approach, smiling and asking Ames if he was going to shoot him. Ames told deputies McCarthy never touched him during the confrontation.

When McCarthy was between 4 and 6 feet away, Ames shot his brother in the stomach, he told detectives. As McCarthy lay on the ground, Ames shouted at him, “You got what you deserved,” and that he should have listened to him. McCarthy died at a local hospital Tuesday night.

Ames appeared in Spokane County Superior Court on Wednesday. He’ll be held without bail until a hearing Friday.