‘Get him, baby!’ White supremacist runs over, kills black teen as girlfriend cheers
Larnell Malik Bruce, 19, was charging his phone outside a 7-Eleven in Gresham, Oregon, just before midnight on August 10, a female acquaintance told local police.
But his evening suddenly took a violent turn after 38-year-old Russell Courtier and his girlfriend, 35-year-old Colleen Hunt, allegedly approached him. Courtier and Bruce engaged in a physical altercation, with Hunt yelling “Get him, baby!” as the fists flew, the Portland Mercury reported.
19-year-old Larnell Malik Bruce died Saturday from injuries suffered when he was run over in Gresham last week pic.twitter.com/tJIfMkeTjx— KGW News (@KGWNews) August 15, 2016
The 38-year-old managed to smash Bruce's head into the store window, cracking a pane of glass and prompting the 7-Eleven clerk to call 911.
The teen eventually pulled out a knife to protect himself and tried to run from the scene.
But Courtier, a long-time member of the white supremacist gang European Kindred (EK), and Hunt weren't finished with the teen.
Courtier chased Bruce in his Jeep Wrangler as he ran away. They tried to mow him down, missing the first time because the teen turned to run the other way on the sidewalk.
“Driving a 1991 Jeep Wrangler, Courtier chased Bruce as he ran north on N.E. 188th Ave. Courtier was able to catch up with Bruce and ran him over with the vehicle before fleeing the scene. Hunt was in the passenger seat,” the Gresham Police Department said in a report.
According to a prosecutor's affidavit cited by the Portland Mercury, Courtier turned and chased Bruce “across oncoming lanes of traffic and then intentionally struck him with the front of the vehicle.”
Officers arrived at the scene moments later, finding the teen in the middle of the road with blood pouring from his head and ears. He was taken to hospital in critical condition, but died from his injuries just days later, local news outlet KATU reported on August 15.
Police spotted the Jeep shortly after the gruesome incident, pulling Courtier and Hunt over. They admitted to intentionally hitting Bruce.
A grand jury indicted them both for murder on August 18. In addition, they have been charged with failure to perform duties of a driver to injured persons, also a felony.
No hate crimes are included in the indictments. Although Gresham detective Aaron Turnage said he is aware of Courtier's white supremacist connection, it is “unknown at this time” if the murder was racially-based.
It is not yet known what started the altercation between the two parties, and authorities have yet to publicly release a motive.
Courtier has spent a large amount of his adult life in Oregon prisons for weapons and violent crimes. The night he committed the assault against Bruce, he was on parole for attacking a woman with a knife in 2013.
In 2012, Courtier was given probation after reportedly grabbing his fiancée’s neck and banging her head into her windshield when she asked for gas money. He then jumped on her car and bashed his own head into the windshield until it cracked.
His white supremacist group, EK, began at the Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI) in 1998, with founder David Kennedy saying he wanted to “protect our own people in this joint,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The gang soon spread to other prisons across the state.
Courtier first became involved with the gang while serving several years at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution, following a 2001 attack on a man, according to his prison records. In September 2003, he was caught in his cell drawing the gang's logo. His involvement and correspondence with other gang members deepened after that.
The 38-year-old has also been accused of nearly 40 “major” prison violations between 2001 and 2013, ranging from assaults to associating with other EK members.