Walker man fatally shot at Oregon beach

David Jesse Hortman (undated family photo)

WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities say the man shot and killed as he slept in his vehicle at an Oregon beach was a Michigan man who decided to stay for a week’s vacation after being an exhibitor at a local recreational vehicle show.

The scene at Coos Bay in Oregon where a Walker man was fatally shot. Courtesy: KMTR.
(The scene at Coos Bay in Oregon where a Walker man was fatally shot. Courtesy: KMTR)

Authorities at least five vehicles parked near the beach sustained damage from bullets. David Hortman, 43, of Walker was found dead inside one of those.

“I thought it was just somebody throwing rocks at me, but my window shattered and I knew that instant somebody was shooting at me,” said Mark MacPherson, whose car was hit by bullets.

Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier said the suspect 34-year-old Zachary Levi Brimhall was found dead inside his car in the same area. He appears to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Frasier said investigators stopped working on Brimhall’s vehicle after finding bomb-making materials. Several small “seal bombs” — explosives used to scare away water wildlife — were found in his truck.

Authorities also said Brimhall’s father was found dead of a gunshot wound near his car about 50 miles from where Hortman was killed. Police believe Brimhall is also responsible for that death.

Investigators are working to determine a motive in the case and say it appears to be completely random.

Family in West Michigan said Hortman was a man who loved to travel and was kind and generous.

“He was the best uncle ever, the best uncle that I’ve ever seen,” said his niece Jessica Hortman.

She remembers him being there for a couple of daddy-daughter dances.

“He took me sort of under his wing like my dad. Stepped in when he wasn’t there,” she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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