SWAT team responds to Medford standoff

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Fri, July 11 2014 at 6:21 PM, Updated: Mon, July 14 2014 at 2:35 PM

Medford, Ore. -- With guns drawn, a SWAT team was hoisted to the rooftop at the vacant Kim's restaurant in Medford on Friday morning as nearby residents watched the scene unfold.

"They had our road blocked off... it's just crazy," said Jessy Lewis, a nearby resident.

Officers responded after a passerby called in suspicious activity near Kim's back door around four in the morning.

"Our officers responded there... and found the doors forced open or at least worked on, the back service doors and drove a small car inside the building," said Medford Police Chief Tim George.

As police surrounded the building, employees at the Habitat for Humanity Restore and Human Bean coffee stand were told to lock their doors.

"There were two firearms... that were found in that car when they made contact, so there was an indication that the person was armed at one point. It's also an indication they might still have a firearm with them," said George.

NBC5 News cameras captured police pulling a 17-year-girl from the rooftop using a fire ladder.

23-year-old Brian Matthew Kunkle was also seen in handcuffs leaving the building hours after the initial call came in. He's in the Jackson County Jail charged with criminal trespass while in possession of a firearm, as well as second degree burglary. His bail is set at $9000.

"I can't tell you how they opened it. I can just tell you they were able to get the two service doors int he back open. We had some information from previous owners that there had been some transient activity in that building as well. So they're going to have to work on securing those back doors," George said.

Meanwhile, Lewis said he's not surprised by the morning commotion.

"Lot's of drug dealers, vagrants, and a bunch of stuff there," said Lewis.

Other people who had no idea the standoff occurred, told us there's a lot of suspicious traffic in the area.\

As police cleared out, the car that was initially found driven inside the building and according to authorities belongs to Kunkle, was left behind.

It's a car which at least two neighbors say they see often on the dead end road that leads to Kim's.

Police are continuing their investigation. The 17-year-old girl was released. At this point it's unclear what Kunkle was allegedly trying to steal.

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About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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