A grand jury indicted Ian Mackenzie Cranston on Thursday with a charge of second-degree murder and five other charges in connection with the Sept. 19 shooting death of Barry Washington Jr., a young Black man, Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said during a rare downtown press conference Thursday night.
Bend Police arrested Cranston, of Redmond, late Thursday. He was lodged in the Deschutes County jail and is being held without bail, said Hummel, who held his press conference across the street from where the shooting took place. Cranston faces charges of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter, first-degree assault and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon.
“Our country has a disgraceful history of denigrating, prosecuting, and lynching black men for talking to white women," Hummel said in a statement issued after the press conference. "Over the last week, hundreds of people called and emailed me to remind me of this history; I responded to every one of you."
Authorities have previously said the 22-year-old Washington was shot about 12:11 a.m. Sept. 19 after leaving the Capitol nightclub in downtown Bend. Cranston, 27, is alleged to have pulled a gun and shot Washington after Washington spoke to Cranston’s girlfriend, which angered Cranston. Cranston, who is white, was initially arrested at the scene on suspicion of second-degree manslaughter, but he later posted $10,000 bail and was released, angering many in the community.
After Hummel announced the charges to a crowd of about 20 people, there were audible expressions of relief.
Before the press conference, Hummel told Washington's mother, Lawanda Roberson, of the indictment. He expressed his condolences for the loss of her son. She thanked God, Hummel said.