It was a birthday party that turned into a nightmare in Newport on Tuesday night when police said two men were shot by a neighbor angry over noisy babies.
Investigators said the suspect, 59-year-old Franklin L. Tomes, fired more than twelve rounds from a semi-automatic rifle before holding up in his apartment at the Salmon Run Apartments for hours, prompting SWAT officers and crisis negotiators to respond.
Officers said Tomes eventually surrendered without incident just before 2:30 a.m.
The two men victims were identified as 20-year-old Jose Gaeta and Tristan Smith.Police said Smith was shot in the shoulder and Gaeta was shot in each leg and foot. According to investigators, Gaeta had gotten into an argument with Tomes earlier over the noise Gaeta’s young children were making in the apartment above Tomes.Tomes then allegedly flashed his rifle and then later shot at the two men across the apartment complex’s parking lot as they were fleeing to Smith’s apartment.
Court records showed Smith’s home was also peppered with bullets while two other people were inside the home.
Both victims are now recovering at the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis.Hospital officials said Gaeta is listed in fair condition and Smith is in good condition.FOX 12 spoke to Gaeta’s parents from the hospital.They said their son’s girlfriend had thrown Gaeta a surprise birthday party, but the party ended after the neighbor confronted them with a noise complaint about Gaeta’s sons, who are two years old and 7 months.Dallas Aggen said the neighbor had complained to his son about the babies’ noise since the family moved into the apartments nearly a year ago.“They’ve had confrontation before, not on this level, but words were exchanged and then it was party over,” Aggen said.Aggen said he was alerted to the shooting when his son called him from Smith’s apartment.“His first words were, ‘I love you guys, I’ve been shot,’” Aggen said.The family then rushed immediately over to the apartments to find their son was still there.“It was an active shooter situation,” Aggen said, adding that it seemed like 45 minutes before police were able to get to his son and Smith.Officers confirmed they were delayed in rescuing the victims because of the dangerous and chaotic scene.Gaeta’s mother, Regina Patterson, said she could hear her son screaming for help through a window.“What do you do when your son is just a couple feet away, and you can’t go to him and you can’t help him,” Patterson said. “Thank God two of his friends were there who were able to stop the blood because he would have probably have bled to death.”“I was livid,” Patterson added.Police said they eventually rescued the two men by taking them through a window and over a fence.
Gaeta’s parents said they’ll never understand why the shooting happened.“I know evil comes in many forms and to me, he’s evil,” Aggen said about Tomes.Patterson said, “There’s no excuse for what he did. My son’s life will probably never be the same again.”“He says he’s okay, but I know he’s not and the fact that I can’t fix, it kills me,” Patterson added in tears.The family told FOX 12 that Gaeta had one surgery and might possibly have another. They said there’s a chance he’ll lose his foot.“He’s the breadwinner in the family and he probably won’t be able to work awhile,” Patterson said.Tomes was in court Tuesday to face a slew of charges including attempted murder.According to court documents, prosecutors filed notice to rely on “enhancement factors” for several reasons pertaining to Tomes and the crime, including “lack of remorse.”
Tomes will be in Lincoln County Court again at the end of the month.
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