Fatal, self-defense shooting ruled justified by District Attorney
After reviewing the investigation into an October 2018 shooting in Grants Pass, where an elderly man shot a stranger on his deck in what he claims was self-defense, Josephine County District Attorney Ryan Mulkins has ruled that resident Alan Frost, 77, was justified in his use of force. Each instance of physical or deadly force is analyzed on a case-by-case basis. Furthermore, cases involving self-defense require specific inquiry into the reasonableness of the actions to determined if they are justified.
"Under Oregon law a person is justified in using deadly physical force when that person reasonably believes that the person upon whom force is used, is committing or attempting to commit a burglary in a dwelling. The Frost's home is a dwelling," the official statement from Mulkins' office declares.
On a Wednesday evening, on October 24th, Frost and his wife were watching television in their living room at home on Foothill Blvd. At approximately 6:20 p.m. Robert Barry, 58, walked onto the Frost property. As Barry approached the home, the Frost's dogs began barking outside. Mrs. Frost looked out her front window and saw Barry walking up the driveway toward her home. She stepped onto her front porch to ask Barry what he wanted and what he was doing. According to the Mulkins' report, Barry did not answer, but continued walking toward the house.
The Frosts did not know Barry, and say that based on his appearance, they believed he was a transient, and that it appeared that Barry was under the influence of controlled substances.
According to the report released by the District Attorney's office, Barry then attempted to climb up and onto the front deck of the Frost home. He was unable to climb up onto the deck, so he began walking along the fence in the Frost's yard until he got to the gate. Barry opened the gate, and started walking into the Frost's yard toward the house.
It was then that Mrs. Frost went inside the house to call 911. Mr. Frost, who walks with a cane, repeatedly told Barry to leave their property, but Barry did not respond. Mr. Frost then warned Barry that he was armed with a gun. According to Mr. Frost, he was in fear of his safety, and feared for his wife's safety - afraid that Barry would try to enter their home.
As Mr. Frost repeated his warnings, Barry continued to walk towards him and his home. Mr. Frost was standing on his deck, ten feet from his front door. When Barry got within ten feet of Mr. Frost, Mr. Frost shot Barry two times. Barry was roughly 20 feet from the front door of the Frost home. When the shots were fired, Mrs. Frost was on the phone with 911.
"Based on the investigation, it was reasonable for Mr. Frost to believe that Mr. Barry was attempting to commit a burglary in Mr. Frost's home," Mulkins said.
During the investigation, Oregon State Police found a car registered to Barry on the Interstate-5 near milepost 52. According to OPS, it is unknown why Barry was in this area on foot.
An autopsy performed on October 26th, 2018 found three substances in Barry's urine: Buprenorphine, Cyclobenzaprine, and Diphenhydramine.