ONTARIO — Two people from Ontario were arrested Tuesday morning following an alleged homicide of another Ontario man.
Nicholas Tucker, 20, formerly of Fruitland, and Starr Bales, formerly of Vale, are currently being held without bail in the Malheur County Jail. Both face charges of murder and criminal conspiracy.
Arraignment for Tucker and Bales is slated for 1 p.m. today.
There is no bail because both face “Measure 11 charges for which a Judge must set the bail,” reads information received from the jail about their booking charges.
In Oregon, Measure 11 crimes are certain crimes against persons that carry mandatory minimum prison sentences, due to a citizens’ initiative passed in 1994.
The shooting was reported early Tuesday morning when a caller reported shots fired at 12:49 a.m. in the 100 block of Northwest Sixth Street in Ontario, according to a news release from Malheur County District Attorney Dave Goldthorpe.
When officers arrived, they confirmed a fatal shooting, said Ontario Police Lt. Jason Cooper, who is acting as the interim police chief.
The victim, Raymond Kelly, 21, of Ontario, was found inside the residence.
“The caller thought the wound may have been self-inflicted, but could not locate a weapon near the victim,” according to the release.
Both Ontario Police and EMTs arrived within minutes of the call.
Initial observations at the scene showed evidence that the shot came from outside the bedroom window, and a homicide investigation proceeded from that point, states the release.
Witnesses and neighbors were interviewed and search warrants were obtained in order for the Ontario State Police Crime Lab to process evidence.
During the course of the investigation, which is still active, police “developed some leads” that led them to the potential suspects, Cooper said.
Tucker and Bales are set to be arraigned today in Malheur County Circuit Court.
Ontario Police was assisted by Oregon State Police, the OSP Crime Lab, Malheur County Sheriff’s Office and the High Desert Drug Task Force.
Cooper called the cooperation among agencies “great working partnerships,” adding that the agencies rely heavily on each other to work together on problems.
“They are hardworking, dedicated professionals,” he said. “We appreciate the working relationship we have with them.”
The interim police chief pointed out that law enforcement officials, in a little more than 12 hours, went from getting a report of shots fired to getting two in custody.