Grand Jury rules a misunderstanding of intent led Tigard man to fire gun in self-defense

No charges will be filed against a Tigard man who reportedly shot a male fashion model after a minor traffic collision last month.

A Marion County Grand Jury ruled Wendesday that Ethan Carey, 31, was acting within his rights when he shot a man three times, believing his life was in jeopardy.

Carey, his wife and two young children were driving eastbound on Newberg Highway in Woodburn on Feb. 9, when they were involved in a minor traffic collision.

LeJeune Bryant, a Portland-area fashion model who was traveling in the car behind Carey, had reportedly looked away from the road and crashed into the back of Carey’s car.

No one was injured in the crash, and the two men inspected the damage.

According to Marion County investigators, the two men agreed to pull their cars to the side of the road and exchange insurance information.

As Bryant got back into his vehicle, Carey reportedly walked between the two cars to photograph Bryant's license plate.

A Marion County district attorney said Carey had to kneel down between the two vehicles to get a clear photograph.

Bryant shifted the car into gear, and then noticed Carey outside the car. Bryant reportedly got out to see if everything was all right, not realizing the car was still in drive. The car rolled forward, pinning Carey between the two vehicles.

Bryant jumped into the car to back away, but his foot slipped off the brake and onto the accelerator, crushing Carey and breaking his collarbone in several places.

Bryant then successfully started to back up, but Carey — believing Bryant was attempting to kill him — pulled out his .38-caliber handgun and fired three shots through the windshield, striking Bryant in the chest, elbow and the side of his jaw.

Carey told his wife to call 911, laid his weapon on the ground and waited for police.

A concealed permit holder, Carey told detectives he had never used his weapon in anything other than target shooting.

Both men were cooperative with Woodburn Police.

No drugs or alcohol were involved, and neither man has a criminal history.

Both Bryant and Carey testified on Wednesday, and the grand jury heard witness’ statements and reviewed photos, diagrams, medical records and toxicology reports.

The jury determined Bryant’s actions were accidental and not criminal and Carey’s use of force was reasonable under the circumstances as he believed them to be at the time

Under Oregon law, a person is justified in using physical force for self-defense, if they believe they are being attacked.

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