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Pullman fatal shooting suspect claims he was 'jumped,' victim was his roommate

One person was killed and a football player for the university was injured in the shooting near WSU's College Hill area.

PULLMAN, Wash. — One person was arrested in connection with a Pullman shooting that killed one person and left a Washington State University football player serious injuries on Saturday morning.

Police arrested George Melvin Harris for second-degree assault for his involvement in the shooting near WSU's College Hill area. According to a probable cause affidavit, Harris went to the Pullman Police Department and turned himself in on Saturday morning. Police said Monday they anticipate charges being amended as the investigation continues.

Harris made his first court appearance Monday where a judge set his bond at $10,000. His mother, Tina Harris, and his roommate both attended the hearing to speak on Harris’ behalf. Tina said it is a tragic incident that stemmed from Harris defending himself. They told the judge he is not a threat, but a hard working student at WSU. 

The victims, Liban A. Barre and Brandon C. Gray, were taken to Pullman Regional Hospital following the shooting. Gray, a WSU football player, is in serious but stable condition and Barre died at the hospital, Pullman police said. 

Police were called to the 1200 block of NE Myrtle Street at 12:30 a.m. They were told there was a loud party with possibly 200 people. As the officers arrived, they heard multiple gunshots.

They found two victims near Williams Drive and Lynbecker Road. Officers said both men had multiple gunshot wounds. 

According to court documents, an officer briefly spoke with Harris as he was standing near Barre's body. The officer said Harris had cuts on his head and was bleeding. Documents said there was also a gun on the ground near Harris, which was later identified as a 9mm Glock 19. Harris told police it was his gun, documents said.  

Harris told the officer he was jumped and he pulled out his concealed gun and started firing, documents say. He told officers that they fired back but the officer was not able to find out who "they" were. Documents say Harris' friends were pulling at him and trying to stop him from saying anything.

Barre was taken to Pullman Regional Hospital, where he later died. Gray was taken via Lifeflight to a Spokane hospital. 

Court documents said after Harris turned himself, police contacted his father who said his son had called him and "wasn't making a lot of sense." Harris' father said his son told him he was jumped and that he was "shooting in the dark," documents say. Harris' father was not aware of his son having a concealed gun permit. 

"It took me back to Tyler and Bryce," said Abraham Lucas, an offensive lineman on the WSU football team. "We are thinking about him and praying about him."

In a statement sent out by Pat Chun, WSU Director of Athletics, said "Our thoughts and prayers are with Brandon and his family and friends." WSU Athletics said they are not able to comment further at this time due to the ongoing investigation.

"When you see something in the news like that you never expect it to be someone you know." said Ron Stone Jr., starter for the WSU football team. "It's shocking and it makes you think not everyday is guaranteed."

The Washington State Patrol Crime unit used a 3D scanner as an additional tool to collect evidence in the hops that they can see the area exactly how it was at the time of the shooting.

"For them [the team] to go out and play as hard as they did with the news they got this morning about their teammate, I think it is a tribute to their character," said WSU head football coach Nick Rolovich.

WSU students received an alert asking them to return to their homes and stay indoors. A follow up alert was sent at 5:54 a.m. telling students the area is secure.

Investigators are asking for anyone who has knowledge of the shooting to call Pullman Police at 509-334-0802.

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