Josilyn Ruiz and Brandy Escamilla were identified by the Grant County Coroner’s Office as victims of the mass shooting at The Gorge.
Update, June 21: Grant County Sheriff’s Office has posted an official press release from the NCWSIU on Facebook with more information surrounding the shooting at The Gorge. We’ve updated this article with additional details.
Tragedy struck the festival community last weekend when a mass shooting event broke out in the campgrounds at Beyond Wonderland at The Gorge. The Grant County Sheriff’s Office disclosed initial details surrounding the incident providing confirmation that two victims had died and three others were critically injured, including the shooter. While the investigation continues after being passed off to the North Central Washington Special Investigations Unit (NCWSIU), more information has surfaced since Saturday night.
The Tri-City Herald has reported that Grant County Coroner Craig Morrison notified them that Josilyn Ruiz and her fiancee, Brandy Escamilla, who lived in Seattle, were the two victims who died after being shot. A GoFundMe has also been set up by her sister-in-law, Leilani Hobayan, to help raise money for funeral costs and to have her items shipped back to California. She said, “Josilyn was a beautiful girl who is the definition of work hard- play hard. There are not enough words to describe the wonderful person she is and the wonderful life she lived. She is loved by many and will be truly missed.”
Another victim who was severely hurt has been identified as well. Andrew “August” Cuadra was hit in the left shoulder, and a GoFundMe has also been set up for him to assist with medical costs. “Thankfully, he is okay, but as of right now, we don’t know if he will ever be mobile in his shoulder again,” the post from organizer Douglas Sheppard reads. “He was flown out of the event, transferred around to different hospitals, and has to have surgery, then a long road of physical therapy for his shoulder and arm.” Grant County Sheriff’s Office states he is in stable condition with an unknown release date.
James Kelly, an active duty member of the US Army based out of Joint Base Lewis McChord in Tacoma, is the suspect in the shooting. He has since been booked in the Grant County Jail on two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault, and one count of first-degree assault domestic violence. Kelly was shot by Moses Lake Police Detective Edgar Salazar, who was working in an undercover capacity at the festival.
Lori Williams was identified as the fourth victim of the shooting. She was working with Crowd Management Services and encountered the suspect who shot at her multiple times. One bullet penetrated the windshield of her Polaris Ranger and shattered her glasses, causing bruising and lacerations.
The fifth victim of the shooting is Lily A. Luksich. According to the detailed report from the Tri-City Herald, Luksich was Kelly’s girlfriend who was also attending the festival and had headed back to the campsite with him as he allegedly believed “the world was ending” after ingesting a dose of mushrooms. Once at the campsite, Kelly got into his truck, grabbed a handgun from a locked box, loaded it, and stepped back out of the car.
Shots were first fired at Ruiz and Escamilla after Kelly encountered them in the campgrounds, and Cuadra was shot in the shoulder after. Luksich followed him and tried to call 911 before shots were fired at Williams. The two later walked to the fence line of a farm field next to the campground. More shots were fired at the police drone that was flown overhead tracking the two, and later, after walking away from Kelly, Luksich was shot twice, once in the foot and once in the leg.
The second day of Beyond Wonderland at The Gorge was canceled following the incident, with Insomniac Events’ Founder and CEO Pasquale Rotella releasing a statement Sunday night to provide as much information as possible at the time.
Pasquale Rotella has since released a second statement, expressing his sadness surrounding the events that took place, his gratitude toward those who came forward during the investigation, and his deepest appreciation to headliners. Additionally, he addressed the topic of refunds after many expressed they’d like to contribute to the families of the victims rather than receiving one – emails will be sent to those who had purchased tickets with further details.