Two men could face second-degree murder charges in connection with a shooting that killed an 18-year-old during a house party early Thursday near Spokane Community College.
James E. Kemple and Ivan D. Liles, both 21, were initially jailed on charges of first-degree assault. In a news release, the Spokane Police Department said those charges were upgraded after the shooting victim, identified in court records as Jacquon D. Bailey, died at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.
Court records, however, indicate Bailey was “clinically brain dead” but “not yet officially deceased” at about 7 a.m. Friday. The records say he had no chance of survival. The county medical examiner’s office said it had not taken custody of Bailey shortly before noon Friday.
Officers responded at about 1:20 a.m. Thursday to reports of the shooting at 3312 E. Carlisle Ave., just across the Spokane River from SCC.
According to court records, several dozen people were partying at the house while one young man’s father was away. Many were told to leave after a few fistfights broke out, but they returned.
Witnesses gave conflicting accounts, but several told police that Kemple and Liles arrived at the party together and got into an argument with Bailey and Bailey’s girlfriend.
One witness said the confrontation stemmed from “an incident that occurred on Cliff Drive several months ago where a female got hit over the head with a glass bottle,” according to court records. Liles later admitted to a detective that he had struck Bailey’s girlfriend with a bottle on Aug. 23, according to court records.
At the party Thursday, Bailey intervened on his girlfriend’s behalf, and then Kemple, whom several witnesses identified as “Pom Pom,” pulled out a handgun with an extended magazine and shot Bailey in the head. Some witnesses said they ran into the basement or hid in a bathroom as the confrontation escalated. Some said they heard multiple gunshots.
Kemple and Liles fled, and partygoers rushed Bailey to the hospital before police arrived. Kemple and Liles were arrested later Thursday morning outside a residence at 1735 W. Boone Ave. Inside, police found a gun matching the witnesses’ description.
Kemple, in an interview with detectives, initially claimed he didn’t know why he was arrested but later claimed he fired the gun after others jumped him and shot at him, according to court records. He has a prior conviction for third-degree assault and is not allowed to possess firearms.
Police said anyone with information about the shooting should call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.
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