Police: Vancouver man shoots friend, claims it was mercy killing - KPTV - FOX 12

Police: Vancouver man shoots friend, claims it was mercy killing

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A man is claiming he shot his friend as an act of mercy.

The body of Joshua Schenk was found near Vancouver Lake days after he was last seen. 

The suspect in this case, Matthew Starr, made his first court appearance Monday morning. He faces one count of murder and robbery. 

According to court documents, Starr told police that after he accidentally shot Schenk, he thought it would take too long for help to arrive.

So instead of trying to get help, he says he shot him again.

Family and friends of Schenk say he was a wonderful man who cared about others.

"Josh was a good person. He didn't deserve what happened to him," said Steffany Irey, a long-time friend of Schenk. "Josh was the kind of person that he gave everyone his everything."

According to the probable cause document, roommates Starr and Schenk were target shooting with two other friends near Vancouver Lake last Wednesday. 

That's when Starr told police he almost slipped and fell, which caused him to accidentally fire a round from his rifle. 

Police say the bullet hit Schenk in the back of the head.

Starr told police he knew help was more than five minutes away, so instead of calling 911 he says he shot Schenk in the top of the head, "like you would a deer" that was injured or suffering, according to authorities.

"It's sad that you know he would do something like that considering the person that he was, but I hope he gets what he deserves because Josh didn't deserve this," said Irey.

Starr told police that after the shooting he and the other roommate moved Schenk's body a few feet away and covered it up with a plastic tarp.

Two days later, a man walking in the area spotted the body.

"He's always been such a good guy and always really funny," said Gillian Cahlcrot, who knew Schenk.

As Starr was leaving the courtroom on his way back to jail, he apologized to the family after members of the media asked him if he had anything to say.

Schenk's family is devastated and is trying to understand how something like this could happen.

"All I know of Matt is that he used to be a good kid until he started getting into a lot of trouble and now, apparently, he's a monster," said Irey.  

Starr remains in the Clark County jail on a $1 million bail.

His next court date is set for March 16.

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