Eugene police still seeking tips in WOW Hall shooting, local rapper describes aftermath

·3 min read
The backdoor of the WOW Hall is open and the interior vacant after a shooting outside Friday night.
The backdoor of the WOW Hall is open and the interior vacant after a shooting outside Friday night.

Eugene police are still seeking tips to help find the suspect from a mass shooting that injured six people outside a hip-hop concert in the WOW Hall music venue Friday night.

The suspect, described by police as a male wearing a hoodie, is still at large. No new details were available as of Sunday afternoon, Eugene police spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin said.

The shooting was reported about 9:30 p.m., with six individuals hit who were gathered near the back of the venue where a porch and ramp leads into the WOW Hall — a longstanding community arts center and music venue in Eugene.

Police did not have any further description of the suspect, but local hip-hop artist Thomas Hiura, who saw the shooter from the sidewalk on Lincoln Street, said he appeared to be a young male carrying a handgun. The department has set up a dedicated tip line for the shooting at 541-682-5162, and the FBI is assisting in the investigation.

The night of the shooting, Police Chief Chris Skinner requested anyone with footage or other tips send them in, and said the crowd was hard to manage and unwilling to provide information. At a news conference Friday night, Skinner said, "There was not anyone who was willing to cooperate or come forward and give us any kind of witness statements" or provide video or audio if they took any.

Savelle Tha Native, a Eugene rapper who attended the show, disagreed with the police assessment. The rapper said he was upset with the behavior by police officers towards friends trying to help the victims. That included one officer pulling Savelle's friend from a bleeding victim, he said.

"They kind of came at us aggressively, wanted us to submit and didn't work with us at all and made it a hostile scene," he said. "How are they saying we were unmanageable? We were managing ourselves."

The musician noted he knew five of the people shot, a group that included four from Pendleton, and a woman from the Eugene area.

"I heard that they are FaceTiming back-and-forth amongst each other right now," Savelle said. "Everybody's safe, everybody is looking like they're going to make it."

Three of the victims Savelle knows were rappers there to perform, he said.

Local hip-hop artist Savelle Tha Native and his friend Tyler Hendry, who goes by the alias Canseco, were both at the WOW Hall where a shooting happened Friday.
Local hip-hop artist Savelle Tha Native and his friend Tyler Hendry, who goes by the alias Canseco, were both at the WOW Hall where a shooting happened Friday.

For Savelle and other hip-hop artists and fans, the show was supposed to be a highlight and sign of the growth of the genre's community in Eugene. It included multiple out-of-town acts such as Lil Bean, Zay Bang, and others.

"It's horrible. Eugene is just now starting to really gain traction again in the hip-hop scene," he said.

Savelle also disagrees with those who have suggested on social media and believe that hip-hop and rap attracts or encourages acts of violence.

"This has nothing to do with hip-hop. It has to do with the state of our country," he said. "Our reality in America is violence and war."

Louis Krauss covers breaking news for The Register-Guard. Contact him at lkrauss@registerguard.com, and follow him on Twitter @LouisKraussNews.

This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: WOW Hall shooting suspect still at large, Eugene police seeking tips

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