A Washington state man who fatally shot two people in Portland will spend at least 50 years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole, prosecutors say.
James Javontae Barquet pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of first-degree murder in the November 2018 shootings of Carol Horner and Brian Hansen, court records show.
Barquet, now 29, is also suspected of shooting a Seattle woman in the head less than 24 hours before the Portland killings.
Seattle police said they found DeeAnna Barker, then 19, covered in blood but still conscious and talking in the city’s Licton Springs neighborhood about 2 a.m. on Nov. 19, 2018. A witness identified Barquet by name as the shooter, according to a police report included in Multnomah County Circuit Court documents.
Seattle officers found Barquet holed up inside a motel and demanded he come outside, but he failed to comply and officers eventually returned to their precinct to “complete paperwork tasks,” according to the report.
However, according to a Seattle police online Blotter post released shortly after the shooting, officers searched the motel but did not locate the alleged gunman. A police report indicates officers tried to contact the occupants of a room at the motel but received no response.
The report further states officers determined at the scene they did not have probable cause to seek a search warrant for the room.
Doctors said Barker miraculously avoided a “catastrophic brain injury,” according to the investigative report by Seattle police Detective Alan Cruise. A relative told the Oregonian/OregonLive that Barker has mostly recovered.
Surveillance footage showed Barquet leaving the Oak Tree Motel in a car about 5 a.m., Cruise wrote.
Barquet has not been charged in connection with Barker’s shooting, according to King County Superior Court records.
About 16 hours later, Portland police officers found Horner, 70, dead under the west end of the Morrison Bridge, a bullet hole in her head and a cigarette still in her hand
Ninety minutes after officers found Horner’s body, a clerk at the Chevron gas station on West Burnside Street reported that a man, later identified as Barquet, had whipped out a gun while trying to buy a pack of cigarettes but left after the clerk flashed his own gun, according to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.
Police responded about 12:40 a.m. the next day to the middle of the Burnside Bridge, where Hansen, 51, had also been fatally shot in the head.
Officers from the Portland Police Bureau’s tactical squad arrested Barquet about 3:30 a.m. near Southwest Third Avenue and Pine Street. He had a .45-caliber handgun tucked in his waistband, according to court documents.
Police recovered .45-caliber ammunition from each of the shooting scenes.
Barquet was later considered temporarily unfit for trial and was twice moved to the Oregon State Hospital for treatment before being returned to Multnomah County to stand trial.
“My brother was sensitive, sweet, and had a goofy sense of humor and was always there in times of need,” Kathy Hansen said in court, according to the district attorney’s office. “I have an idea of how to process grief, but this pain goes deep into my soul… a piece of my heart that my brother held is gone.”
Officials have initiated proceedings to move Barquet to Washington, where he faces charges of unlawfully crossing state lines while on community release for 2016 drug possession charges.
Seattle Times staff reporter Sara Jean Green contributed to this story.