Tumalo Shooting Victim's Brother Speaks Out

'This Was an Accident,' Kenneth Hargrave Says

TUMALO, Ore. - Police are still piecing together how an argument turned deadly Sunday night, after a father allegedly shot his son in the chest at the family's home off Highland Road near Tumalo.

But the victim's older brother said Tuesday it was all a mistake.

"My dad would never hurt a soul," Kenneth Hargrave told NewsChannel 21. "All family members would agree, it's not like him to ever do that. This was an accident -- that's what I believe this all is."

Deschutes County sheriff's deputies found 29-year-old Steven Hargrave dead from a gunshot Sunday night and say his father, 61-year-old James Hargrave pulled the trigger.

Court records show James Hargrave has no criminal record. Steven, though, was twice convicted for minor in possession of alcohol, 10 years ago. Since then, Kenneth Hargrave said, his brother has struggled with alcoholism

"My brother's a good man, and he had a good heart, too, it's just alcoholism got the better of him and I hope everyone finds it in their heart to forgive," Kenneth Hargrave added.

District Attorney Patrick Flaherty said Tuesday that James Hargrave allegedly fired a Ruger single-action .357 revolver into his son's chest. Flaherty also said the son had been living with his parents for at least a year.

Kenneth said his brother and dad didn't fight a lot, and his dad shouldn't be punished.

"Everybody would like to see him not in jail, because he has to live with this and no small room is going to make that any better," Kenneth Hargrave said.

What sparked the deadly argument is still being investigated, but Kenneth said the tragedy offers a strong reminder, to everyone.

"Make sure you tell your family you love them," Hargrave said. "I was lucky enough to hear my brother say 'I love you' before that night happened and I can take that with me."

Flaherty said James Hargrave will be formally arraigned Friday at 1:30 p.m. Hragrave iss being represented by local attorneys Tom Crabtree and Terry Rahmsdorff.

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