Oregon teen Aidan Ellison killed over loud music

Tonya Pendleton
·3 min read

Robert Keegen has been charged with murder in the shooting of an Oregon teen

In an eerie echo of the Jordan Davis case, an Oregon man has been arrested and charged with the murder of a teenager in a hotel parking lot over loud music.

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As reported by Oregon Live, on Nov. 23, Richard Keegan, 47, and Aidan Ellison, 19, who were both staying at the Stratford Inn in Ashland, Oregon got into a confrontation around 4 a.m. when Keegan objected to the volume of the music Ellison was playing in the hotel parking lot. At some point, Keegan fired one shot into Ellison’s chest, killing him.

“The victim had apparently been playing some music loudly in the parking lot and this upset the suspect, which caused the suspect to go down and engage him in an argument,” Tighe O’Meara, Ashland’s Police chief, told the media.

Though he’s been arrested and charged with 2nd-degree murder, manslaughter, and unlawful possession of a weapon, the way the shooter has been portrayed to the media has generated criticism, according to the report.

KTVL News says that Keegan had been displaced in the Almeda wildfires and was staying at the hotel with his young son. Over $8K had been raised to help the two after the fire, KTVL reported. Keegan has no police record in the state.

“The incident where Aidan was shot after an argument listening to his music was really about him not submitting to that man’s perceived authority,” Precious Edmonds, a spokesperson for the Southern Oregon Black Leaders, Activists, and Community Coalition (SOBLACC) told Oregon Live.

“He was listening to his music too loudly — that’s irrelevant. It doesn’t change a thing, how good the man who shot him was. All of those things are not relevant to what occurred. But that’s the narrative, that’s the frame of white supremacy.”

KTVL notes at the end of its report that a ‘previous version of the story’ included a quote that might be perceived as “in poor taste’ which was removed with respect to the victim’s family.

O’Meara addressed reports about comments of his that people say were insensitive to the victim.

“It has been reported in some local media sources that I said this murder was ‘because of’ something,” O’Meara told Oregon Live. “The only thing that caused this murder was the suspect’s actions, 100%. It is completely immaterial what led up to it.”

A vigil candlelight was held for Ellison on Thanksgiving Day per Fox 26 Medford.

“I could tell you all the stereotypical stuff. He was special, he was kind he was a great guy, but he was so much more than that,” his ‘brother’ Sunmoon Oh told Fox 26. He told the outlet Ellison was homeless and would stay with him off and on.

“He had nothing, but yet even if he had something he would give it to you no questions asked.”

Oh said he found out that Ellison had been killed on social media.

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“I see all these posts saying RIP Aiden and my heart dropped. I didn’t go to work that day, I barely ate anything that day, I just kinda sat on my bed and cried.”

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