Oregon authorities are looking into whether or not the death of a black teen was a hate crime. He was run over and killed by a white supremacist.
Both Russell Courtier, an ex-con with a long rap sheet, and his girlfriend, Colleen Hunt, have been charged with murder for the hit-and-run that occurred in August. Larnell Malik Bruce Jr., 19, was hit and killed in the incident.
Speaking to reporters, Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Don Rees said that Courtier is linked to the white supremacist group European Kindred, which has been described by Southern Poverty Law Center as “one of the most feared white supremacist gangs in the Pacific Northwest.”
"I don't have to forgive him until he's dead." A father is speaking out after his teenage son was run over and killed – police say intentionally – by an accused white supremacist:
Posted by KATU News on Thursday, September 1, 2016
The victim, Larnell Malik Bruce Jr., was charging his cellphone at a Gresham 7-Eleven on August 10, just before midnight, when the couple pulled up. Courtier was behind the wheel of his red Jeep Wrangler.
That is when the two men got into a verbal altercation. Police are still trying to determine exactly what happened, but they say that the men did not previously know each other.
The verbal confrontation quickly turned physical, with Courtier slamming the teen’s head into the glass storefront window, breaking it.
“Get him, baby,” Hunt called to her boyfriend during the fight, say witnesses. “Get him, baby!”
Bruce was able to fight off his attacker, pulling a machete, which scared Courtier back into his vehicle. It was then that witnesses heard Hunt tell her boyfriend to run the victim over.
Bruce attempted to avoid the vehicle speeding towards him, even going so far as to run into oncoming traffic.
“The video surveillance showed Mr. Bruce take evasive maneuvers on foot in an attempt to escape Mr. Courtier’s Jeep,” the affidavit states. “The video surveillance then shows the red Jeep quickly turn around and accelerate towards Mr. Bruce.”
Responding police officers found Bruce bleeding heavily on the ground not far from the 7-Eleven. He had suffered a traumatic brain injury.
After his arrest, Courtier admitted to fighting with Bruce.
“Mr. Courtier said he was angry the male produced a knife and thought about driving away from the scene, however [he] made a conscious decision to drive his vehicle towards and chase the black male,” the document says. “Mr. Courtier said he chased the black male across oncoming lanes of traffic and then intentionally struck him with the front of his vehicle.”
Bruce has been described as “a good kid” who “had a hard life.”
His father has spoken out about what happened and about his son’s killer in particular.
“I believe what he [did] was horrific,” Bruce Sr. said of Courtier. “My faith says that the Lord will forgive him. I don’t have to forgive him until the Lord’s taken him. So I don’t have to forgive him until he’s dead. That’s what I want to see ― him dead.”