Tragic Shooting Claims Lives of 'Soulmate' Couple at Washington Music Festival

Tragic Shooting Claims Lives of ‘Soulmate’ Couple at Washington Music Festival

The tragic shooting at a Washington music festival claims the lives of a beloved ‘soulmate’ couple. Rogue soldier arrested and charged. Full story and details inside.


A horrific incident unfolded at an EDM festival in Washington when a rogue Army serviceman opened fire on the crowd, resulting in the tragic deaths of two individuals identified as Brandy Escamilla and Josilyn Ruiz. 

The couple, described as soulmates, had been planning their wedding. The accused gunman, James Kelly, stationed at a nearby Army base, randomly fired into the crowd, causing casualties and chaos before being apprehended by the police.

Identification of the Victims

Brandy Escamilla and Josilyn Ruiz.
Brandy Escamilla and Josilyn Ruiz.

Brandy Escamilla, 29, and Jocelyn Ruiz, 26, both residents of Seattle, were strolling through the campground outside Gorge Amphitheatre when James Kelly fatally shot them. 

Escamilla suffered a fatal headshot wound, while Ruiz succumbed to a gunshot wound to her torso. 

Friends and family members fondly remembered the couple as adventurous and inseparable soulmates who had met 11 years ago during high school.

A Love Story

Escamilla and Ruiz, who moved from Southern California to Seattle, shared an extraordinary bond. 

They were travel nurses who had initially arrived on a contract basis but decided to extend their stay after falling in love with the region’s abundant outdoor adventures. 

During their relationship, Escamilla proposed to Ruiz during a trip to Canada, and she reciprocated by proposing back during a boat trip on Lake Union.

Fond Memories

Brandy Escamilla and Josilyn Ruiz.
Brandy Escamilla and Josilyn Ruiz.

The couple’s loved ones recalled their vibrant personalities and impact on those around them. 

In the early days of the pandemic, Ruiz and Escamilla organized a live-streamed rave at their home, bringing joy to many. 

Their fearless and outgoing nature inspired Ruiz’s sister, Julia, to overcome stage fright and sing in front of strangers at a karaoke bar. 

The sisters had plans to attend a Paramore concert together in July, reminiscent of the first concert Ruiz took Julia to years ago.

Tragic Loss and Lasting Love

Brandy Escamilla and Josilyn Ruiz’s untimely deaths devastated their family and friends. 

Their profound love and ability to connect with strangers touched many lives. 

As they grieve, their loved ones believe they will reunite with the couple on the other side. 

The impact of their infectious spirits will continue to be felt by all who knew them.

The Accused Gunman and Immediate Response

Brandy Escamilla and Josilyn Ruiz.
Brandy Escamilla and Josilyn Ruiz.

James Kelly, an active duty Army serviceman stationed at Joint Base Lewis McCord, unleashed the gunfire on the concert crowd. 

In addition to Escamilla and Ruiz, the victims included Lily Luksich, who was shot twice in the lower extremities, and two others. 

Kelly was swiftly neutralized by law enforcement and taken into custody. 

An undercover police officer posing as a concert-goer fired a single shot, injuring Kelly before his arrest.

Legal Proceedings

Brandy Escamilla and Josilyn Ruiz.
Brandy Escamilla and Josilyn Ruiz.

James Kelly faces severe charges, including two counts of murder, two counts of assault, and one count of domestic violence assault. 

He has been confined to the Grant County Jail pending further investigation.


The tragic shooting at the Washington music festival has left a community mourning the loss of Brandy Escamilla and Josilyn Ruiz, a couple deeply in love and planning their future together. 

Their loved ones will forever feel the impact of this senseless act of violence. 

As they remember Escamilla and Ruiz’s adventurous spirits and unconditional love, their friends and family draw strength from the hope of being reunited with them someday. 

The legal process will unfold as James Kelly faces the consequences of his alleged actions, providing a measure of justice for the victims and their grieving loved ones.

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