Two high school wrestling coaches and a 14-year-old athlete died in what police in Oregon are calling a murder suicide.
Jason Huston, James ‘JJ’ Hurtado & Kenneth Valdez were all shot to death, according to the Tri-City Herald.
Huston died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Fox News said. Police believe he was the shooter.
Both Huston and Valdez were 45-year-old volunteer wrestling coaches at Hermiston High School, in a city of about 17,000 people located in north central Oregon. A 35-year-old woman, Andria Bye, the mother of Hurtado, was also shot and taken to the hospital, said Fox News.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Teenager Was Also a Wrestler & Was a Freshman at The High School
On Facebook, Hurtado, 14, wrote that he worked at Foot Locker and posted photos of himself at wrestling meets.
The Tri-City Herald newspaper said the teen “was about to begin his freshman year at Hermiston High, where he expected to participate in wrestling and cross country.”
The teenager was shot but there was no evidence of a struggle, said The East Oregonian.
Hermiston Assembly of God, where Hurtado belonged to a youth group, has created a Go Fund Me site to raise money for the Hurtado and Valdez families.
2. Huston Had an Arrest History Involving Weapons, Reports Say
According to The East Oregonian, Huston was arrested in 2009 for menacing and unlawful possession of a firearm.
“The state dropped the menacing charge and he was sentenced to a year of probation and 20 hours of community service after pleading no contest to the gun charge,” said the newspaper.
3. The Teenager Went to Play Frisbee Golf With Huston & Was Discovered in a Remote Area
Huston, Valdez, and Bye were found in a local home. However, Hurtado was missing before his body was discovered. The murders occurred on Aug. 18 at about 11 a.m., said ABC.
The Tri-City Herald said police believe the boy was killed first.
The teen’s body was found shortly after 8 p.m. in a remote, rugged area outside of town, according to a police news release. The boy was found “in a wooded area adjacent to farmland,” said Fox News.
Hurtado was last seen with Huston, “who said he was taking the teen to play Frisbee golf at McKay Park in Umatilla,” the newspaper said.
The bodies of Huston and Valdez were found in a bedroom of Valdez’ home, where the injured woman was also found, said The East Oregonian.
4. The Two Deceased Wrestling Coaches Were Lifelong Friends & Wrestled in High School, Reports Say
According to KPTV, the two wrestling coaches were “lifelong friends.”
Fox News quoted the high school’s spokeswoman as saying Valdez had worked as a volunteer coach since 2013 and Huston started coaching in 2014.
“The school has been a wrestling powerhouse for the past decade and Valdez and Huston wrestled for the school’s team when they attended,” said Fox, quoting the school spokeswoman as saying: “These gentlemen grew up in the wrestling program, so they’ve been in the community for a long time.”
5. Huston Was a Father-Like Figure to Hurtado & The Murder-Suicide Might Have Stemmed From a Love Triangle
The East Oregonian said Bye is in stable condition and expected to recover.
KVEW said neighbors claim “the shooting was a result of a love triangle” and that “Huston had become upset when Valdez started dating Bye. Huston had dated Bye for several years and had become a father figure to Hurtado.”
Oregon Live quoted the police chief as saying that all three people in the house knew each other “and there were relationships between all three of them involved.” The chief said Huston was a “father-like figure” to the murdered boy, said Oregon Live.
However, police say the motive is not yet clear, said The Associated Press.