New details in officer involved shooting

, Written by Kassi Nelson, Posted: Tue, June 10 2014 at 9:20 PM, Updated: Wed, June 11 2014 at 7:20 PM

Updated (6/11 7:00 pm)

One Ashland resident is dead after an officer involved shooting Tuesday morning.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office has identified the man involved as 73-year-old Earl Harris.

Sheriff Mike Winters said deputies were at the home Harris lived in on 35 Mistletoe Road serving a forced eviction order at 10:05 a.m.

"Things started off fairly well with conversation being exchanged between deputies and Mr. Harris," Winters said.

But Winters said after a couple minutes, the conversation took a turn.

Winters said Harris retreated to a bedroom. That's when the deputies entered the home from two different locations. Then, Harris came out with a shotgun pointed at deputies.

Two deputies fired four shots and killed Harris at the scene. They then attempted to revive him, but failed.

"He was given clear instructions by deputies and he failed to follow instructions," said Winters.

Winters said it's not the sheriff's office first encounter with Harris.

"On one of the previous contacts he was armed with a pistol," Winters said.

Eight to 10 officers went to the home Tuesday morning. Four of them were members of the SWAT team. Winters said they knew there was potential for violence.

Winters said they found six to 12 weapons in the home. The bomb squad was on scene Wednesday. They removed six improvised explosives from the home. But Winters said the area is safe for the public. 

The investigation into the shooting continues. The deputies who were involved are on standard administrative leave.
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Updated 6/11 2:00 p.m.

One man is dead in an officer involved shooting. Police have identified the man involved as 74-year-old Earl Harris and say they were at Harris' residence to serve a forced eviction notice. 

Police say they were talking to Harris when he retreated to a back room and police entered the home. Harris came out of the back room with a gun pointed at two Jackson County Sheriff deputies. The two deputies each fired at Harris. 

Police attempts to revive Harris failed and he died on scene.

A large amount of weapons were found in Harris's home as well as grenades. Police were aware that Harris posed a threat due to his previous encounters with law enforcement. SWAT members were on scene as the eviction notice was served.


Ashland, Ore.--  Police officers from several different agencies lined the streets of an Ashland neighborhood Tuesday morning. 

"This is usually like a cute safe little town you don't see that around here," said a neighbor who goes by "Budge."

Neighbors of the mobile home on Mistletoe Road said the scene raised some red flags.

"If you've ever read his signs on his property...he was quite a bit of a loner...maybe anti-government."

Officers were called to the home for an officer involved shooting and said that was the only information they could give.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office would not say who fired a weapon or if anyone was hurt. But witnesses said someone was taken from the home by ambulance. 

"It looked pretty intense and serious I mean you don't usually see people in fatigues and this and that..there was a lot of people."

While deputies would not say who was involved, Federal court documents from 2012 show a man named Earl Harris was the owner of the property and fighting foreclosure.  

He even filed a lawsuit against U.S. Bank and Jackson County Judge, Ron Grensky. 

Saying Grensky was biased and that his foreclosure hearing was nothing more than a quote "foreclosure mill."

Property records show the bank took legal control of the home in September 2013. 

But people who work at nearby Blackstone Audio said Harris still lives there. 

"He has signs up there stating that he did not like the government. He didn't like the mail man ,he did not like smart meters. When people walk by or get too close to him he tends to get his gun out."

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About the Author

Kassi Nelson

NBC5 News reporter Kassi Nelson was born and raised in Nebraska. She graduated from the journalism school at University of Nebraska Lincoln where she studied broadcasting.

She also studied philosophy in the Czech Republic. Kassi has visited nine other countries including Sochi, Russia, where she reported on the preparations for the 2014 Olympic Games.

She loves skiing and live concerts!

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