James Jay Thomasson


COOS BAY — A man was killed Sunday afternoon and the victim's grandson is being held as a suspect, according to a press release from Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier.

According to the release, around 3:21 p.m. 911 dispatch received several calls reporting an assault that had occurred at a residence at 1222 Minnesota Ave. in Coos Bay. Officers from the Coos Bay Police Department and the Oregon State Police responded to the scene and found the victim, Elmer Lloyd Dennis, 80, lying on the ground just outside of a garage at the residence. Dennis was dead, according to the release.

The cause of death has not been revealed, but Frasier said the victim died from homicidal violence. The exact cause of death was withheld pending the completion of an autopsy. Police have identified James Jay Thomasson, 29, Dennis' grandson, as a suspect in the homicide. Thomasson was living on the property and was discovered by police hiding under a deck attached to the residence, according to Frasier.

Thomasson did not comply with officers' requests to come out from under the deck resulting in officers having to deploy a Taser to gain his compliance. Thomasson was eventually transported to Bay Area Hospital for unknown injuries. Thomasson has been admitted as a patient at the hospital for observation and police have posted a watch over Thomasson at the hospital. Once Thomasson is released, he will be booked into the Coos County Jail, the release said.

The Coos County Major Crimes Task Force was activated and officers from the Coos Bay Police Department, Oregon State Police, North Bend Police Department, Coquille Tribal Police, the Medical Examiner's Office and the District Attorney's Office responded to assist with the investigation. The Coos Bay Police will lead the investigation. 

Anyone with information regarding this homicide is encouraged to contact Coos Bay Police.