Thane shooting suspect arrested

Chris Barrios charged with attempted murder; victim recovering from ordeal

Posted: Friday, April 09, 2010

Juneau police arrested a suspect Thursday evening connected to a shooting at the Thane Campground last week that left one man in the hospital.

Chris Barrios was arrested by the Juneau Police Department and is being charged with attempted murder for shooting 51-year-old Jon Gregory Lane on March 30.

Lane, who agreed to an interview with the Empire on Wednesday from Seattle's Harborview Medical Center where he was being treated, described himself as "the luckiest guy alive." He was released from the hospital the same day and is staying with family in the Seattle area.

Barrios was first identified to the Empire as the alleged shooter by several patrons at The Glory Hole immediately following the March 30 incident. Witnesses clammed up once JPD began investigating the shooting, according to police.

Lane identified Barrios to police on Wednesday and authorities began searching for him the next day. JPD Sgt. David Wrightson said Barrios was picked up on South Franklin Street. He currently is being lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Lane, who arrived at the homeless campground in February, said he was sitting on a log drinking a beer with several other campers when he was shot from about 8 feet away.

"I'm sitting across the fire from (Barrios), and he points his gun at me and shoots me twice in the face," Lane said. "I am doing as good as can be expected. It wasn't fun, I can tell you that much. Basically, the guy just lost his mind and tried to kill me."

Lane said Thane Campground caretaker Gordon Valle was the first to start firing shots into the brush. Barrios then grabbed another handgun and started firing off shots, Lane said.

He said Barrios then said to him, "You're not scared of guns are you? You didn't even flinch."

"I told him he wasn't shooting at me so why should I be scared," Lane said. "As long as they are not hitting me they don't bother me very much, I've been around guns my whole life. The minute I said that, 10 seconds later he just shot me twice in the face."

Land said both shots hit him in the nose, knocking him over. His first thought was to get low to the ground and crawl down the hill as fast as he could.

"I had to get the hell out of there before he killed me," Lane said. "I kept telling myself, 'Don't shock out, don't shock out.'"

At the bottom of the hill, Lane told two individuals in a Jeep that he had been shot and that he needed to be driven to the hospital. He was taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital and later was medivaced to Seattle for treatment.

Lane said the bullets missed all his main organs.

"Knocked a couple teeth out, knocked out partial vision in one eye, knocked a big ol' hole in the side of my cheek and in my ear, blew my mouth apart."

Lane said he doesn't know why he was shot.

"I didn't say two words to this guy, or nothing," he said. "I have never had words with him ... except to say 'hi' in passing."

The city leases the land at Thane Campground from AJT Mining Properties and manages it through the office of Lands & Resources. Valle is under contract with the city to oversee the campground, keeping campground fees as payment. He could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

City Lands & Resources manager Heather Marlow, who Valle reports to, said the caretaker also is responsible for enforcing the campground rules.

"The purpose of the campground is to address the homeless, seasonal homeless and squatter issues that we saw on public and private lands throughout the community," she said. "We were trying to fill a void and make areas available for seasonal workers or the working poor and the homeless."

Drinking and carrying firearms are prohibited at the campground, though it was unclear as of press time is Valle was facing any criminal charges.



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