A man suspected of shooting and killing his roommate and wounding a Washington State University football player outside a big house party in Pullman was released from jail Wednesday after prosecutors declined to file criminal charges.
Whitman County Prosecutor Dan LeBeau said the investigation in to George M. Harris III’s claim of self -defense is ongoing and that charges could be filed later.
Harris’ release from jail came after the 72-hour window to file charges lapsed.
Harris, 23, had been held since Saturday on a $100,000 bond after police arrested him on suspicion of assault.
The shooting came amid a house party near the WSU campus in the 1200 block of Norhteast Myrtle Street. As police responded to a noise complaint about the party, officers heard gunshots. They found Liban Barre, 23, lying on the ground within a block of the party and WSU football player Brandon Gray, 22, a short distance away. Both men had been shot. Barre was pronounced dead at Pullman Regional Hospital and Gray was flown to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane for trauma care.
Police found Harris standing near Barre and collected a gun that Harris said was his. Barre and Harris were roommates.
Harris claimed the shooting was a terrible accident after he was “jumped” at the party, according to court documents. Police have not identified other suspects alluded to by Harris.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing, said LeBeau, who declined to comment further on why charges were not filed against Harris.
LeBeau did say it’s “very common” not to file charges at this stage of an investigation. There’s a three-year statute of limitations for second-degree assault in Washington, and LeBeau said charges could be filed against Harris in the future.
According to WSU football coach Nick Rolovich, Gray is out of the intensive care unit and beginning to recover from his injuries.
S-R reporter Colton Clark contributed to this story.