Grand jury says Tigard man pulled trigger in self defense

by: KOIN LOCAL 6 - Authorities investigate a shooting at the Interstate 5 overpass in Woodburn, Feb. 9. Last week a grand jury ruled that a Tigard man who shot 37-year-old LeJeune Bryant was justified because he feared his life was in danger.No charges will be filed against a Tigard man who shot a male fashion model after a minor traffic collision last month on a Woodburn overpass.

A Marion County grand jury ruled March 20 that Ethan Carey, 31, of Tigard, 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 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 that as Carey knelt 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 backed the car away, but Carey — believing Bryant was attempting to kill him — pulled his 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 9-1-1, laid his weapon on the ground and waited for police.

Carey holds a permit to carry a concealed weapon. He told detectives he had only used the weapon for target shooting.

Both men were cooperative with Woodburn police, investigators said. Neither man has a criminal history.

Both Bryant and Carey testified before the grand jury, which determined that Bryant’s actions were accidental and not criminal. The jury also decided that Carey’s use of force was reasonable under the circumstances.

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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