The autopsy report for a Black teen shot and killed goes directly against the account of the white man accused of murdering him after a heated confrontation over loud music in Oregon late last month.
Robert Keegan, 47, told local authorities that he acted in self-defense after Aidan Ellison, 19, allegedly struck him in the face. The two reportedly got into an argument around 4 a.m. in the parking lot of the Stratford Inn in the town of Ashland on Nov. 23.
Oregon Live obtained an unsealed affidavit filed in Jackson County Circuit Court showing there were no injuries to Ellison’s hands that were consistent with him striking Keegan in the face. Keegan’s face also showed no signs of injuries.
The affidavit states after Keegan was hit, he backed up, “racked a round, and shot Ellison in the chest because he was in fear for his personal safety.”
It also includes other details not previously reported when news of Ellison’s killing went viral. Both Ellison and Keegan were staying at the hotel when the incident took place.
Keegan approached Ellison after he heard the loud music, which Ellison refused to turn down, the affidavit states. It also says Keegan then returned to his room and collected his gun. On his way to confront Ellison a second time, he stopped at the hotel’s front desk to report his complaint, the affidavit says. When Keegan approached Ellison, the confrontation escalated resulting in the preventable loss of another Black life.
Keegan’s use of lethal force exists in a dark thread where Black people are routinely killed because of white fear. Ellison’s killing has been compared to the 2012 shooting of Jordan Davis, a Florida teen who was shot in a gas station parking lot by a white man who demanded he turn his music down.
A fist and a gun are not equivalent and Keegan’s reported decision to exit and re-enter the argument with a deadly weapon points to other instances like the killing of Trayvon Martin, who George Zimmerman shot despite warnings to return to his home, and Ahmaud Arbery, who was targeted by three vigilantes who racially profiled the jogger as a burglar with no evidence.
Keegan pleaded not guilty last week to second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, reckless endangering and unlawful possession of a weapon. He is being held without bail until his upcoming court date on Feb. 22, 2021.