Black Teen Killed Over Loud Music 8 Years to the Day After Jordan Davis' Death


Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here. They say those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it: Eight years to the day after 17-year-old Jordan Davis was shot and killed after listening to loud music with his friends, another Black teen met the same fate during a similar argument with a white man. Though police didn’t reveal his name, the victim was later identified as 19-year-old Aidan Ellison, according to The Oregonian . The young Black man was fatally wounded by Robert Paul Keegan, a 47-year-old Oregon man, in the parking lot of a Stratford Inn in Ashland in the early hours of November 23. The two had argued over the volume of Ellison’s music, according to police. Keegan has since been charged with murder.  Keegan, who is originally from Talent, Oregon, had been staying at the inn with his family after being displaced by the Almeda wildfires in September, an Ashland City Administrator told VICE News. Ellison was also staying at the inn at the time of the shooting. Sometime after the back and forth, the suspect pulled a gun from his coat and fired a single shot at the victim’s chest, according to police . Police say they received a call about the shooting around 4:20 am local time and that the teen was already deceased when they arrived on the scene. Keegan, who was still at the scene of the shooting when authorities arrived, was arrested. Police say Keegan and the teen did not know each other prior to the argument and that an investigation into the shooting is still ongoing. Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara did not mince words as to who’s to blame for the deadly encounter. “The only thing that caused this murder was [the] suspect's actions, 100%,” he said in a Facebook post last Thursday . “Yes, there was an argument over music. No, this did not happen because of loud music. It happened because the suspect chose to bring a gun with him and chose to use it. [It is] 100% on him, not the poor young man that was murdered.” Keegan will face second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, reckless endangering, and unlawful possession of a weapon, according to Ashland police. He has already pleaded not guilty. Chief O’Meara told VICE News that is being held at the Jackson County Jail without bail and is expected to make his first court appearance on February 21, 2021. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help support Ellison’s mother. Close friends of the slain teenager have also begun selling hoodies on Etsy in Ellison’s memory, the profits of which will also go towards Ellison’s mother, according to NBC Oregon affiliate KOBI-5 . The fatal shooting in Ashland not only bears a striking resemblance to the shooting of Davis in Jacksonville, Florida, it also occurred exactly eight years to the day the young Black teen lost his life. On Nov. 23, 2012, Davis was shot by then 45-year-old Michael Dunn, a white man, after the two argued over loud music at a gas station. Three other teenagers were in the car that Dunn fired at, but Dunn only hit Davis, in his legs, lungs, and heart. In 2014, Dunn was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole .

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