Mother speaks out after son's shooting death in Oregon

Updated: Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Mother speaks out after son's shooting death in Oregon story image

WALKER, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A drive-by shooting in Oregon has killed a West Michigan man.

Police say Zachary Brimhall opened fire on five cars on a rural road about 50 miles from Bastendorff Beach in Coos County, Oregon.

Three cars were occupied, and one contained David Hortman, of Walker, who was sleeping in the vehicle.

There were no other injuries.

Investigators say they found Brimhall dead in his vehicle from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound nearby, and later Tuesday evening, they found his father's body, shot multiple times.

The odds of David Hortman being killed by random gunfire on a beach 2,000 miles from home are astronomical.

The odds that his mother could have known something like this would happen is even less likely--but logic and reason are no match for a mother's intuition.

Annemarie Hortman has been through a lot.

She survived World War II, in Germany.

"From the gas bombs, I got emphysema," she said.

Now 75, the wear and tear has taken a toll--especially in the mornings, and especially this morning.

"I could hardly get my clothes on; finally I did and I heard knocking," she said. "I came out here and there was a policeman."

She says her son David has always had a flare for adventure. She says he loved the west coast.

"He used to, with his best friend Mike, he used to go. He went to Washington with him, and Oregon."

Which is why after business brought David to Oregon, she says he decided to extend his stay by a week for a solo road trip.

"He wanted to go up the coast line and from what i heard he was in Eugene," Annemarie said. "I had talked to him last night, and he was telling me all the things he was going to see yet."

Deputies in Oregon say her son never got past Bastendorf Beach.

"He just told me he's going to look for a state park and then stay, you know, sleep in the car," Annemarie said.

It was an idea she instantly had a bad feeling about.

"I said 'please don't do that,' I said go to a campground or something like that. He says 'oh, mom' don't worry," she recalled.

Which is why when she saw a police officer at her door this morning, it took her breath away.

"I just knew it had to be him," she said.

Annemarrie says she and her son are both cat lovers.

They had a deal that if one of them died, the other would care for the cats.

She says tomorrow, she has to drive to her son's home in Indiana to pick up his three cats.

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