Killing reported at Oregon railroad workplace

Of the Associated Press

PORTLAND — An employee at an Oregon rail yard fatally shot a co-worker, the authorities said Thursday.

James Harold Forshee II, 58, was arrested at the scene in Klamath Falls, about 280 miles south of Portland, and booked into jail on a murder charge, said District Attorney Rob Patridge of Klamath County.

A spokesman for the BNSF Railway, Mike Trevino, identified the victim as Emery W. Connor. The LinkedIn page for Connor says he had been with BNSF for eight years, first as a locomotive electrician and most recently as a mechanical foreman.

“BNSF extends its deepest sympathies to Emery Connor's family, friends and co-workers for the tragic loss of his life in a senseless act of violence,” Trevino said.

BNSF declined to say what Forshee did at the railroad, or say if he Connor was his direct supervisor.

The district attorney declined to speculate on a possible motive, except to say “there was certainly an employee-employee relationship there.”

Forshee is scheduled to be arraigned Friday, and the case will be presented to a grand jury next week. Forshee will likely be assigned a public defender at Friday's court appearance, Patridge said.

Connor was in his office around 6 a.m. when he was shot more than once. Other employees called 9-1-1 to report the killing, but Patridge did not reveal whether they witnessed the violence.

Police detectives spent most of the day at Forshee's home, which is about 2 ½ miles from the BNSF facility.

Darcie Turner, who lives across the street, said Forshee owns a pickup, but chose to take a taxi to work Thursday. She and her neighbors also observed that he put out the trash even though it doesn't get picked up until Friday.

Forshee lives alone, has a lot of motorcycles and loves dogs, Turner said.

“He's a great big guy, and it was just cute to see him out in his yard with these two itty-bitty dogs, like Chihuahuas,” she said.

“He was kind of a loner,” she added. “We never noticed anybody going over there, but he just adored his little dogs. They went everywhere with him.”

When Turner and other neighbors heard about what happened at the rail yard, the whereabouts of the dogs was one of the first questions that came to mind.

Another neighbor said Forshee had just found a new home for them.

“When we found out that he found a home for them — just a few days ago — it almost sounded like he knew he wouldn't be there to take care of them,” she said.


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