Claims he showed gun after being punched, but Washington wouldn’t leave them alone
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Ian Cranston, on trial for murder in the September 2021 downtown Bend shooting death of Barry Washington Jr., took the stand in his own defense Wednesday, recounting the fateful encounter and saying he felt he had no choice but to fire his gun after Washington punched him and wouldn’t leave.
Both the defense and prosecuting attorneys questioned Cranston about his state of mind leading up to the shooting. He acknowledged he had been drinking at the Capitol nightclub with his fiancé and a close friend, Tyler Smith, but claimed he was not under the influence or inebriated at the time of his interaction with Washington.
Cranston said they first encountered Washington in the nightclub, and then outside in the street, where he became confrontational, said he was from “Cali” (California) and was using what he made a hand gesture he thought was a gang sign (prosecutors and Washington’s family have denied he was part of any gang). He said he told Washington to stay away from him, Butler and his friend.
Cranston also testified that he normally carries his gun under a concealed carry permit to protect himself, that it was a typical thing for him to do so when he would be going somewhere he wasn’t familiar with.
After being punched twice by Washington, Cranston testified, “The first recollection I have is basically coming to against a brick wall. My head was throbbing, I didn’t have any vision in my left eye, and my ears were ringing pretty heavily.”
Cranston told the jury that he became afraid of getting seriously hurt, knocked unconscious or getting brain damage.
He said he got very scared and showed Washington the gun, but said, “I would almost argue that it gave him fire” — so he felt firing the gun was his only option.
“I shot him to stop the threat,” Cranston said.
At one point, when Cranston was asked about where he aimed, he said, “Center mass is center (of the) chest.”
Asked why that was where he fired, Cranston replied: “It’s the biggest target.”
Once he fired the shot, Cranston said of Washington, “He had stopped dead in his tracks, and then he fell to the ground. As he was falling to the ground, I asked him if I hit him.”
“When he fell to the ground, it was obvious that I hit him. When I walked over, I asked him again. He responded, ‘Don’t kill me, bro!'” Cranston said, his voice choking, close to tears. “And I said, ‘I’m not going to kill you.'”
“And I leaned down over him and I lifted his shirt, to see if I hit him in the chest, umm, and I’d hit him in the stomach. So I put the shirt back on, and I put pressure on the wound, umm, and then I started yelling, ‘Call the police!'”
Asked why he did so, Cranston replied, “I didn’t want him to die.”
Earlier Wednesday, after the prosecution rested its case, defense attorney Kevin Sali, out of the jury’s presence, asked Deschutes County Circuit Judge Beth Bagley for an acquittal in the case, claiming prosecutors failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. The judge denied that request, saying Cranston could be found guilty of the charges against him, which also include manslaughter.
The defense continues presenting its case on Thursday.
The post ‘I didn’t want him to die’: Ian Cranston takes stand, recounts fatally shooting Barry Washington Jr. appeared first on KTVZ.