WOODBURN, Ore. -- A Tigard man has been cleared of wrongdoing in a shooting last month on the Interstate 5 overpass in Woodburn, a Marion County Grand Jury decided Wednesday.
On Feb. 9, 31-year-old Ethan Carey, of Tigard, shot 37-year-old LeJeune Bryant, of Woodburn, three times after a minor crash on the overpass. Both were hospitalized after the altercation.
Carey told KGW he fired the three shots because he thought he was going to be killed. And his wife and two young daughters were in his car while it was happening.
Background: Man shot after crash near Woodburn outlets
Bryant had rear-ended Carey's car, and the two pulled over to switch insurance information. While Carey was behind his own car taking a photo of Bryant's license plate, Bryant accidentally pinned him between the two vehicles, breaking his collarbone in multiple places, said Marion County Deputy District Attorney Brendan Murphy.
"Mr. Carey heard the engine rev, felt his bones break and believed at that time that Mr. Bryant was trying to kill him," he added. When Bryant backed the vehicle up, Carey was able to stand up and pull out his gun. Believing Bryant planned to pull forward again, he fired three shots.
Bryant was hit in the chest, right elbow and jaw. Carey called 911 and laid his weapon down on the pavement until police arrived, Murphy said. Both men cooperated with investigators, and neither was impaired at the time of the crash.
"I'm glad i didn't kill him," Carey told KGW. "That was never my intention. I don't wake up and hope to cause injury to anyone else.
Wednesday the grand jury declined to file charges against either man, finding that the use of force was justified in the case. Carey shot Bryant only after he had already been hit by Bryant's car, and feared he was about to be hit again, Murphy said.
KGW Reporter Mike Benner contributed to this report.