Eastgate shooting suspect formally charged with assault

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WALLA WALLA — The suspect in last weekend’s shooting in an alley in Eastgate was formally charged Monday afternoon in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Shawn A. Crump, 21, is accused of first-degree assault.

Police claim he shot an acquaintance, Blake D. Nelson, 26, in an alley behind the 1700 block of Portland Avenue about 3 a.m. Saturday.

They reportedly had arrived there in Nelson’s car, at Crump’s direction. Crump and a confidential witness — who were passengers — got out, and Crump pulled a .22-caliber handgun and started shooting Nelson, according to a police report filed in court.

Nelson suffered wounds to his chest, hand and head. All involved then fled the scene.

A short time later, Nelson staggered into Aziz Chevron, 1916 Isaacs Ave., and was taken to Providence St. Mary Medical Center for treatment. His condition has not been released.

Crump was taken into custody about 9 a.m. Sunday in the 200 block of West Chestnut Street, police said. Bail was set at $250,000.

The police report doesn’t clearly establish a possible motive, but indicates it may have been drug-related. The two men and the witness were at a residence in the 800 block of Figueroa street earlier when, according to the witness, Crump said he had to kill someone, a snitch.

The witness was concerned, but thought Crump was just “tripping,” the police report says.

Police spokesman Officer Tim Bennett said this morning the witness is not identified in court documents in order to protect the person and assure continued cooperation.

Bennett wouldn’t comment on whether Nelson actually is any kind of informant.

“People are called ‘snitches’ all the time,” Bennett said.

“Drug users are paranoid. They’re always pointing fingers at each other.”

Union-Bulletin reporter Luke Hegdal contributed to this report.

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