August 20, 2014 / 9:40 PM / 3 years ago

Oregon authorities look for motive after gunman kills father, tourist

PORTLAND Ore. (Reuters) - Authorities in Oregon sought on Wednesday to fathom why a 34-year-old man shot and killed his father before driving to a coastal camping area where he opened fire on parked vehicles, killing a Michigan tourist asleep in his car.

The gunman killed himself following the crime spree early on Tuesday in Coos County, some 220 miles south of Portland, authorities said.

“We have no idea at this point why he did this,” Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier told Reuters.

The shooter, identified as Zachary Brimhall, apparently lured his father to his death by feigning car trouble and asking his father to pick him up from a remote location, Frasier said.

The body of 58-year-old William Ray Brimhall of Dillard, Oregon, was found with multiple bullet wounds, officials said.

“There’s no question he killed his father,” Frasier said, adding that Brimhall’s mother told investigators there was no discord between father and son.

Investigators said Brimhall then drove about 50 miles down the Oregon coast to a camping area, where he riddled five cars with dozens of bullets.

The gunfire struck and killed David Jesse Hortman, 43, of Walker, Michigan, who was sleeping in the driver’s seat of his rental vehicle, Frasier said. Hortman was taking a weeklong vacation in Oregon after attending a work conference, he said.

Another car struck with about 15 bullets had a man sleeping in back, but he was uninjured, the district attorney said.

After shooting the vehicles, Brimhall returned to his car and killed himself, Frasier said, adding that investigators found bomb-making equipment and multiple guns in the vehicle.

Authorities haven’t determined what motivated Brimhall and whether the guns and explosives were part of another plot, he said.

Reporting by Lee van der Voo; Editing by Victoria Cavaliere and Eric Beech

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