DA: Deadly shootout near Cave Junction stemmed from dispute over motorcycle

An Oregon State Police investigation into a shooting near Cave Junction that left one man dead has concluded, according to the Josephine County District Attorney's office.

Posted: Mar. 20, 2019 10:34 AM
Updated: Mar. 20, 2019 11:46 AM

CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. — The review of a police investigation into a deadly shootout near Cave Junction in early November has now concluded, according to the Josephine County District Attorney's office — a shooting that apparently stemmed from one man's ire over a motorcycle.

On November 2 of 2018, Oregon State Police (OSP) said that 38-year-old Richard James Ocoyne drove up to a house on Ken Rose Lane and began firing at the house. A man inside the house began firing back, hitting and killing Ocoyne.

Now the DA's office report reveals more details about the events that lead up to the deadly shooting.

According to the DA's office, Ocoyne had been driving around in a Ford Expedition in the early hours of the morning on November 2, with another man riding in the passenger's seat. Around 7:31 a.m., the DA's office said that Ocoyne drove up to the "R-Hogg-Farm" motorcycle shop (listed online as Rhogfarm).

The investigation found that Ocoyne fired a gun from inside his vehicle, hitting the shop's front door.

"The bullet entered through the front door of the motorcycle shop, struck a glass case inside the motorcycle shop, exited the glass case and traveled toward the back of the shop. The bullet did not appear to exit the backside of the motorcycle shop," the DA's report said.

Police investigation found evidence that Ocoyne had a "prior dispute" with the owner of the shop over a motorcycle inside, apparently providing motivation for the shooting.

Next, the report said that Ocoyne drove to the home of Christopher Lorne at 162 Ken Rose Lane. The investigation found that Ocoyne and Lorne were acquainted — in fact, Ocoyne had lived with Lorne at the Ken Rose property until Lorne asked him to move out, and the same motorcycle from the shop factored into the dispute.

Parking about 10-15 feet from Lorne's front window — with Lorne himself asleep in bed just on the other side — the DA's report said that Ocoyne hefted an "Anderson Manufacturing M-15 rifle" and fired two shots at the house. Lorne woke up, saw Ocoyne with the rifle, and fished for a .45 caliber handgun near the bed. Lorne then fired four shots in reply.

"Multiple shots fired by Christopher Lorne struck the vehicle of Richard James Ocoyne. One of the shots fired by Lorne struck Ocoyne in the head, killing [him]," the DA's report said.

Lorne then called 911, prompting a multi-agency emergency response.

Meanwhile, the passenger in Ocoyne's vehicle claimed that he had been asleep until just before the shooting at Lorne's house.

"The passenger reported that he was awoken by Richard James Ocoyne yelling profanities at the residence and handling his M-15 rifle," said the DA's office.

The passenger told investigators that Ocoyne had fired two shots at the house before someone inside returned fire. When the answering shots came, the unnamed passenger jumped out of the vehicle "to avoid the gunfire" and escaped without injury.

In reviewing the OSP investigation, the DA's office concluded that Lorne was justified in using deadly force in the encounter that saw Ocoyne killed. Ocoyne's justifications for firing at the motorcycle shop and Lorne's house are somewhat harder to fathom.

"The evidence suggests that Richard James Ocoyne’s motivation for shooting at the residence of Christopher Lorne was the dispute over the motorcycle," said the DA's report.

According to the DA's office, tests of Ocoyne's urine later revealed the presence of "methamphetamine, cyclobenzaprine, cannabinoids, and LSD."

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