Photo from KDRV
Aiden Ellison, 19, was shot in the chest and killed on the night of Nov 23rd in the parking lot of Ashland’s Stratford Inn by another tenant named Robert Paul Keegan. Ellison, who lost his position at Burger King due to the Almeda Fire, was confronted by Keegan around 4am.
KDRV reported that Keegan was awoken early in the morning by Ellison’s music and went out to the parking lot to ask him to turn it down. Ellison refused and Keegan returned to his room where he grabbed his gun, a Mossberg MC1 9mm, and hid the weapon in his pocket. Keegan returned to the lobby where he talked with reception about his concerns. The hotel Clerk went out to the parking lot to talk with Ellison and was followed by Keegan who confronted Ellison once again. Keegan has made claims that Ellison struck him in the face, but there were no marks on Ellison’s hands or Keegan’s face to support this. Keegan said that his shot was in self-defense.
Ellison had passed away by the time paramedics arrived. Ellison is not the first racially-motivated murder in and around Ashland. Ellison is another sign of the Rogue Valley’s long history of racism and white supremacist movements that persist even to this day.
As of December 4th, the FBI have begun working with the Ashland Police in their investigation to determine the role of racial bias. Keegan currently faces charges for Murder of the Second Degree and Manslaughter in the First Degree. He is also facing charges for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm because of reportedly hiding his handgun in his pocket without the lawful right to a concealed weapon, and Recklessly Endangering Another Person for firing the weapon near the Stratford Inn Clerk.
Aiden was known among family and friends as an extremely generous man, a man who would rather sleep in the park than impose on a friend. He had originally come to Ashland from Klamath Springs to escape racially-motivated violence. A vigil was held on December 3rd, and support for Ellison’s family and friends continues to pour in.
For more information, here is a link to SOEquity with a call to action. It features many ways to protest Ellison’s killing and work to prevent future acts of violence, along with various means to monetarily support his family through Gofundme and Etsy.