By Jeff Barnard
GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A 14-year-old boy on a deer hunting trip shot and killed two others in the hunting party at a cabin in the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon, then accidentally shot and wounded himself, authorities said Thursday.
Authorities would not say whether they think the shooting of the two men was an accident or intentional, or whether the shooting occurred inside or outside the cabin. They were all part of a group staying at the cabin.
The teenager fled after shooting the men but then apparently accidentally shot himself in the leg and returned to the cabin for help, Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer said in a statement. Another member of the group held the boy at gunpoint, forced him to get on the floor, then taped him to a chair.
The timing of the shootings was unclear, but police were dispatched to the remote location before 1 a.m. Thursday and "took charge of the crime scene" and the boy, the statement said. Deputies were called to the scene by the cabin's owner, who had fled to the nearby town of Granite, authorities said.
The boy and the two victims — ages 43 and 64 — were from the Baker City area, about 25 miles east of Granite, the sheriff's office said. Their names were not released.
Authorities did not say how many people were in the hunting party staying at the cabin, or whether any of them were related.
Authorities said the boy was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Baker City, then flown to St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise, Idaho. Linda Payne Smith, vice president of marketing and communications at the hospital, said Thursday evening she could not comment on whether the boy was still at the hospital, or what his condition was.
Sheriff Palmer declined to answer questions about a possible motive or the relationship between the boy and the two men. He said it likely would be Friday morning before any names are released, after the victims' families have been notified.
Granite was established after the discovery of gold in 1862 and had only 38 residents with a median age of 62 when the 2010 census was taken. It has a motel and a combination restaurant/general store for businesses.
The cabin on the edge of the Umatilla National Forest is southwest of Granite on private land off a U.S. Forest Service road, authorities said.
Hunting has long been a pastime in the area.
In the 1970s and 1980s, sawmills would close for the first week of deer season and kids would skip school so families could go to hunting camp, said Mike Wickert, owner of Discount Firearms in Baker City. Now the sawmills are gone and deer are less plentiful.
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