Community raising concerns after Shady Cove homicide

SHADY COVE, Ore. — A double homicide in Shady Cove has shaken up the community.

Many are not only disturbed by what happened but wonder if having a local police force may have made a difference.

“I’m still in shock over it,” said victim Judy Gann’s father, Clyde Ray Gann.

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare… hearing your daughter has been murdered along with your ex-wife.

“They were just people caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said.

Investigators say it happened over the Easter weekend on the 500 block of Sarma Drive in Shady Cove. The victims, 62-year-old Shirley Gann and her daughter 43-year-old, Judy Gann, were both found shot to death.

The man accused of pulling the trigger, 59-year-old Kitt Warren Wilkins, is now behind bars without bail.

Clyde says Shirley and Kitt were in a romantic relationship; He says he didn’t witness any physical abuse but always felt wary about his daughter living with them.

“When I was over at their house, he was yelling and screaming and carrying on… and I made up my own mind then that he wasn’t any good,” he said.

According to investigators, the 911 call came in around 10 in the morning with deputies arriving 26 minutes later.

That response time irritated some residents who are angry the community no longer has it’s own police department, which dissolved in 2010.

Now, all calls are handled by the sheriff’s department.

“Most of the time if you call 911 [and] you say there’s a gunshot, they’re there that fast. I don’t understand why it took that long,” said Nikki West, Shady Cove resident.

The sheriff’s department told NBC5 News in this specific incident, their response time would not have made a difference.

Some residents agree.

“If someone’s out of control and has a gun, one minute wouldn’t have been enough,” said Fred Thomas, resident of Shady Cove.

The tragedy is, no doubt, proving to be difficult for many in the community to process but no one more so than family.

“We’ll get through it, we’ll take care of everything ourselves… try to move forward with our lives,” said Clyde Ray Gann.

According to data from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, a 26 minute response time is not the norm. The agency says the average response time for serious calls in Shady Cove is 13 minutes and last year it was 15.

At this time, the man accused of killing both women has been charged with two counts of aggravated murder.

If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of life in prison or death.

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