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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Alleged Gorge shooter hallucinated on mushrooms leading up to shooting, court docs say

James M. Kelly awaits his first court appearance Wednesday in Grant County Superior Court. Kelly is accused of shooting and killing two women and injuring three other people Saturday night near the Gorge Amphitheatre in central Washington.  (Garrett Cabeza / The Spokesman-Review)

The 26-year-old accused of killing two women and injuring three other people Saturday night near the Gorge Amphitheatre said he was hallucinating on mushrooms and believed the world was ending, according to court documents.

James M. Kelly made his first court appearance Wednesday in Grant County Superior Court, where Judge Anna Gigliotti ordered Kelly be held in jail without bond.

Kelly is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault and first-degree assault domestic violence.

The two women killed were Brandy Escamilla, 29, and Josilyn Ruiz, 26, both of Seattle, according to officials. Lily Luksich, 20, of Mill Creek, Washington, and Andrew Cuadra, 31, of Eugene, Oregon, were wounded.

Kelly, an active duty member of the U.S. Army based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, traveled to the amphitheater with Luksich, his girlfriend, according to documents.

Beyond Wonderland, an electronic dance music festival, was playing that weekend at the Gorge.

Kelly ingested mushrooms Saturday night before he and Luksich walked to the concert venue. While at the venue, Kelly started to feel the effects of the mushrooms and started hallucinating, documents say.

He told police he started to believe the world was ending and he needed to return to his camp immediately with Luksich, so the couple returned to the campground. Luksich told police Kelly made multiple statements to the effect of, “this is the end.”

Kelly retrieved his handgun from a locked box stored in the center console of his red 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck, court records say. He loaded the gun and stepped out from behind the driver’s door.

Law enforcement received reports of shots fired around 8:25 p.m. in the campground, according to a news release from the North Central Washington Special Investigations Unit, which is investigating the incident.

Escamilla and Ruiz were walking through the campground when they were shot and killed, the release said.

GoFundMe pages for Escamilla and Ruiz say the two were engaged. Escamilla’s page had raised nearly $41,000, and Ruiz’s page had raised over $77,000 as of late Wednesday afternoon.

Cuadra, who goes by August Morningstar, was shot one time in the left shoulder and received medical treatment at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to the release. He was in stable condition, and it was unknown Wednesday if he had been released.

From his hospital bed Tuesday in Seattle, Cuadra said, after he was shot, he ran and hid behind vehicles to escape the shooter. Cuadra said Tuesday he was awaiting shoulder surgery at Harborview Medical Center.

After shooting Escamilla, Ruiz and Cuadra, Kelly started moving through the campground and Luksich followed him, documents say. She called 911 around 8:24 p.m.

She told dispatch “her man had a gun” before Kelly took her phone and discarded it, documents say. Luksich’s cellphone and ID card, which was attached to the phone in a cardholder, were located a short distance from the initial shooting scene.

Kelly and Luksich moved toward the fence line of the campground.

A fourth victim, 61-year-old Lori Williams, who was working with Crowd Management Services, responded in a Polaris Ranger utility task vehicle. Williams encountered the suspect, who shot in her direction multiple times, police said.

Documents say Kelly fired at least two shots at the vehicle.

Williams was struck by a single bullet that penetrated the windshield and struck her in the right side of her face, shattering her glasses and causing bruising and lacerations.

A second bullet struck the metal front bumper of the vehicle, according to documents.

Williams was treated and released at the scene, the release said.

Kelly and Luksich continued to move north into an adjacent farm field along another fence line. Kelly fired multiple times at a Grant County Sheriff’s Office unmanned aerial vehicle that was flying over Kelly and Luksich, documents say. One bullet struck the vehicle.

At multiple points, Luksich laid down on the ground and Kelly sat either on her or next to her and leaned over her, documents say. At one point, Luksich walked away from Kelly, turned around with her hands in the air and walked back to Kelly.

Kelly fired a shot and struck Luksich’s foot and fired a second shot that struck her upper leg, court records say. The second shot caused permanent injuries to Luksich.

She was treated and released from Samaritan Hospital in Moses Lake, the release said.

Officers located Kelly and Luksich in the farm field adjacent to the campground, investigators said.

Moses Lake Police Department Detective Edgar Salazar, 35, fired his weapon at Kelly, striking him one time, according to the release. Salazar is assigned to Moses Lake police’s Street Crimes Unit and is a firearms instructor.

At the time of the shooting, he was working undercover at the festival, the release said.

Other officers moved in and took Kelly into custody while providing emergency medical aid. Officers also treated Luksich for her injuries, the release said.

Kelly was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and later booked into the Grant County Jail, where he remains.

Wenatchee Police Department Capt. Brian Chance said Salazar is on administrative leave, which is standard practice in an officer shooting. He declined to say where Kelly was shot but said Kelly will likely make a full recovery.

At Wednesday’s court hearing, Kelly, sitting with his attorney at the jail facility, stated his full name and replied, “Yes, ma’am,” to Gigliotti’s questions.

Gigliotti set Kelly’s next court date, an arraignment, for July 5.