J'ville shooter was protecting stolen property -- but not his property

·2 min read

Jul. 22—A man accused of shooting an alleged thief in rural Jacksonville was fighting over a piece of construction equipment that had been reported stolen by someone else, according to new information from the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

Douglas Brinton Walker, 64, was charged by a Jackson County grand jury Thursday with attempted second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon surrounding the July 16 shooting of James Grant Hoffman during a dispute in the 6000 block of Thompson Creek Road near Jacksonville.

Shortly after 10 p.m. July 16, Walker called 911 saying he'd set up a roadblock in the area and shot a person who'd stolen his property, according to a news release from the sheriff's office last weekend.

This week, detectives at the sheriff's office have determined the property at issue — a Bobcat E32 compact bucket excavator — did not belong to Walker, although it had been reported stolen, Detective Sgt. Ben Weaver said Friday.

The true owner of the Bobcat was not immediately available because the lead detective working the case was out Friday, according to Weaver. But the sergeant described the circumstances that detectives uncovered in the shooting investigation as "very different" from someone defending home and family.

Instead, Weaver described it as a "very, very dangerous situation" in which a suspect opened fire on a public roadway within bullet range of nearby homes.

Walker was arraigned Friday on the grand jury's indictment of attempted murder, assault and weapon use charges. His next appearance is a pretrial conference Aug. 1. He remained Friday in the Jackson County Jail on $250,000 bail.

Reach web editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTwebeditor.