Andrew Reynolds believes if he hadn’t dove to the ground at just the right moment, he’d be dead.
His evidence: The bullet lodged in the wall where he had been standing on Nov. 14 when shots rang out at a rural home on Bronco Lane.
Reynolds said that as Andrew Noe aimed a 9 mm handgun at his face, Andrew Reynolds dropped to the floor, both to shield his nieces and nephews and to save himself. More than a dozen shots rang out in the next few minutes and Reynolds was hit three times: once in the finger, once in the forearm and once in the calf.
After the gunfire stopped, someone called 911 and Noe fled into the dark Chiloquin night. Andrew Reynolds tried with bullet-damaged hands to perform CPR on his niece Tianna. It was unsuccessful. Tianna, who turned 18 earlier that week, died at the scene of gunshot wounds.
Andrew’s brother Bryan, Tianna’s father, also died at the scene. Bryan’s wife, Tina, was shot in the face and badly maimed. Law enforcement soon found Andrew Noe, who was taken into custody and charged with murdering his own brother-in-law and niece.
It was a violent, fatal climax to what had started as a pleasant family weekend at the riverside home owned by Lucinda Smith. According to Andrew Reynolds, Smith is suffering from cancer. He said that disputes about who would inherit her property were at the heart of a confrontation, which escalated quickly on Sunday from words to punches to gunfire.
But the day before — Saturday, Nov. 13 — had been nice. Andrew had driven up with a friend from his home in Chico, Calif., to visit his brother and his family, especially Lucinda, who Andrew knew well and loved.
The extended family all had ties to Chico, where Lucinda’s home was one of 18,000 structures destroyed by the 2018 Camp Fire. According to Andrew, Bryan and Tina took Lucinda in after her home burned, and she lived with them until purchasing the Bronco Lane property just south of Collier State Park. The family all moved together: Lucinda, the matriarch, as well as her daughter Tina and Tina’s husband Bryan, along with their four children.
But cancer forced Lucinda into chemotherapy treatments for much of the last year, according to Andrew, and her prognosis was not good — another round of chemotherapy was set to begin Nov. 23. The plan for the weekend was for extended family to spend time with her. On Saturday, people laughed and shot guns in the back yard for target practice. Later that night, Andrew Noe played board games with the two people he is accused of killing the next day.
Sunday started with more of the same: Meals were cooked, alcohol was drunk, and Andrew Reynolds gave a teenager a driving lesson on the dirt road that led to the home. Something happened while he was gone that set the violence into motion. Reynolds said he heard someone had slapped a teen, or someone had insulted someone. It was unclear which came first.
Bryan Reynolds, a Black man, began to fight with his brother-in-law Andrew Noe. They punched one another. Andrew Reynolds took his brother’s side and the fighting become more violent. After trading blows, Andrew Noe was pushed outside, where some of his siblings were. Andrew Reynolds saw Noe fumble in his pocket for a weapon, a 9 mm handgun he kept on him. Before Noe secured the gun, Andrew said shots were fired. He doesn’t think they came from Andrew Noe.
“There was another shooter,” he said. “There had to be. Because he was still ... fumbling, getting the gun out of his pocket when the first, initial shots rang out. I saw him struggling. I was looking him in the eyes.”
Tina was shot first, through both cheeks. Andrew Noe secured his weapon and began to fire into the home, where as many as 12 people were clustered together to try to break up the fight. Andrew Reynolds said Noe clearly shot and killed both Bryan and Tianna Reynolds, and Klamath County District Attorney’s office has charged him with murder in both of those deaths.
Law enforcement at the scene said many more people could have been killed or injured, with that many bullets fired into a small space that held that many people.
Klamath County Deputy District Attorney Chase Cole said Monday that “given the amount of people in the house and the number of shots that were fired, it’s very lucky that more people were not injured or killed.”
Andrew Reynolds said mayhem ensued after the shooting stopped. Four people had been hit, there was blood everywhere, and they were unsure where the shooter was.
“I had to kick (Bryan’s) bedroom door down just to arm myself, to protect the house,” said Andrew. “I didn’t know where (Andrew Noe) was and if he was coming back for a second round.”
Andrew Reynolds, 25, worked as a security guard and thought of becoming a police officer. He had been trained in CPR, in using a TASER and other emergency response techniques. He worked to save lives.
“I yelled at the dispatcher before I threw the phone: ‘CPR in progress.’ I tried to do CPR with a shot finger and a messed hand. And I got one good round of compressions. I did enough to crack her sternum trying to get the first round,” he said.
He traded off CPR cycles with a friend, but Tianna died five minutes later.
“Couldn’t do anything after that. It was so difficult. I have to sit there and tell my brother and my sister-in-law that their oldest daughter is gone and I’m yelling at (Bryan): You need to fight! And I can’t do nothing. I’m trying to help. I’m doing so much. I’m telling his oldest son, you need to figure a way to plug the holes ... his oldest son is putting his fingers in his dad’s chest to stop the bleeding, trying to save his dad as he’s dying. My brother’s yelling, screaming: ‘I love you guys. I love you guys.’”
Law enforcement soon arrived on scene and Andrew Reynolds collapsed while talking to them outside the house. He lost consciousnesses in the ambulance while being rushed to Sky Lakes Medical Center, Klamath Falls, where he received a blood transfusion and pins were placed in his hand to hold his finger together. He was released days later, but the fighting among the family has not ceased.
On Monday, Nov. 22, Noe was arraigned in Klamath County, charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempt to commit any degree of murder or aggravated murder, unlawful use of a weapon, two counts of first-degree assault and felon in possession of a firearm.
Noe pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Reynolds has not felt comfortable about going back to the property, where his brother’s and niece’s belongings are. He doesn’t feel comfortable returning his sister-in-law to the house either, as she needs significant medical care and he worries about her safety. They still haven’t been told where the victims bodies are and when they could be buried.
Deputy DA Cole said Monday that only Andrew Noe had been charged with a crime at this time, but the investigation continues. He said investigators still need to analyze blood found at the scene and complete ballistics work to find out how many shots were fired and from where.
Reynolds wants to go back to Chico as soon as possible, but he wants justice for his brother and his niece. He wants everyone responsible for their deaths to be put behind bars.
“(Noe) took my best friend from me and he took my firstborn niece from me in such a heinous way,” Andrew Reynolds said. “The hate in my eyes just burns.”