Deadly Ashland confrontation started over loud music, according to police chief

ASHLAND, Ore. – The man shot and killed this week in downtown Ashland appears to have died as a result over a dispute over loud music.

Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara says the death of victim Aidan Ellison could have easily been avoided.

“It was utterly senseless, didn’t need to happen, people getting violent with each other for such stupid reasons,” O’Meara said. He says the victim was shot once in the chest and was unable to be saved by paramedics.

“Unfortunately, there was nothing to be done,” Chief O’Meara said of the victim’s injuries.

Suspect Robert Paul Keegan was unlawfully carrying a concealed firearm according to police. He was quickly arrested on scene.

“The person responsible for the shooting was still on scene and was detained immediately by the officers,” Chief O’Meara said.

O’Meara said the 4:30 a.m. call came from the Stratford Inn desk clerk after they heard the violent encounter in the parking lot.

“Keegan not only obviously murdered the victim, he also recklessly endangered the hotel clerk by discharging the gun near the hotel clerk,” O’Meara explained. The reason for the violence? Police said the dispute started over some music.

“It started over some loud music and Keegan going down the confront the man over the loud music,” the chief said. Chief O’Meara says it never should have happened and encourages people to settle their disagreements peacefully.

“I would encourage people to let us handle disputes and not go out and get into arguments with people unnecessarily,” he said.

NBC5 News reached out to the Stratford Inn for comment, but management there tells us they are not discussing the incident.

Keegan is charged with murder and manslaughter among other charges. He is currently being held at Jackson County jail without bail.

The headline of this article has been changed. A previous version inaccurately said loud music caused the shooting. NBC5 News regrets the error. 

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Grace Smith
Grace Smith is co-anchor for NBC5 News at 6. The Chicago native is a recent graduate of University of Miami with a Communication Honors degree specializing in Broadcast Journalism. She minored in Creative Writing and focused her senior thesis on social media usage and engagement. During her time at the University of Miami, she anchored multiple award-winning student television programs, covering everything from music festivals to the Super Bowl. Though she loved Miami's beaches, she's thrilled to be in the Pacific Northwest where she can experience all four seasons and have a real Christmas tree! When she’s not at work, you can find Grace glued to any television showing live sports (especially if it's the Chicago Bears) or attempting a new recipe as she learns to cook.