Mistaken Identity Thought in Murder
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ A bearded woman and her female companion were shot to death in a karaoke bar by a man apparently upset that one of the women refused to leave with him.
Witnesses say the man argued with the women Tuesday night at the Ambassador Restaurant and Lounge. He left but came back hours later and opened fire with a shotgun, blasting both women in the head, police and witnesses said.
Authorities were looking for Eric Walter Running, 47, who also uses the name Walter Denning.
The bearded woman was identified as Jacqueline Julita Anderson, 29. The other victim was Barbara J. Gilpin, 44. Both women were from Jewell, a town in northwestern Oregon.
The women had been domestic partners for at least 10 years and both knew the suspect, said police detective Kent Perry.
A neighbor, Tammy Brannan, told The Oregonian the women had a stormy relationship and Gilpin sometimes confronted men who showed attention to Anderson.
``Barb was very possessive,″ Brannan said.
Running’s landlord, Robert Bettendorf, said that Running and Anderson had been dating about three months.
Bar manager Heather Foong, who witnessed one of the killings on a video surveillance camera, said it appeared to her that Running had a relationship with one of the women and was jealous of her bearded companion.
``I think he thought she was a man,″ Foong said. ``The police officers thought it was a man at first. It was some kind of problem she had all her life, I think.″
According to Foong, neither of the women were regular customers, but she had seen them in the bar two or three times in the past month. She did not know Running.
When the man returned with the shotgun, Foong said she went to a pool room in the back to warn the women. He shot one of the women as she came out to the bar and the bearded woman was shot in the back room.
Foong said she heard the first shots and was in the office dialing 911 when the bearded woman was shot. She said she saw the second shooting on the surveillance camera, but the tape was not rolling at the time.