Third officer involved shooting in a little over two years

, Written by Kassi Nelson, Posted: Fri, March 7 2014 at 2:30 PM, Updated: Fri, March 7 2014 at 8:33 PM

Medford, Ore. -- While in the line of duty officers often have to make split second calls with lives on the line. Thursday's officer involved shooting was no different.

Medford's seen three officer involved shootings in a little over two years. The first was in early January of 2012. Federal marshals shot and killed 20 year-old James Harrison Georgeson Junior outside of Albertson's in west Medford. Police said he was wanted for a federal probation violation stemming from a 2009 assault of a federal marshal.

According to police, the marshals were attempting to make an arrest when the suspect tried to flee. They said he used his car as a weapon.

"Both of the marshals had exited the vehicle, and were out with guns drawn. Georgeson then floored it and came, what they perceived to be towards or in their direction," said Deputy District Attorney David Hoppe.

Hoppe said the marshals were the ones to take the first shot. And after hearing testimony for nearly 12 hours it only took a grand jury 30 minutes to rule that the marshals were justified in the shooting.

Just weeks later police responded to a disturbance call in west Medford. 18 year-old Elias Ruiz had locked himself in the house and police say when he came out he went after them.

"The suspect yielded a large knife and approached the officers," M.P.D. Chief Tim George said.

Police attempted to use a taser, but it didn't work. The 18 year-old was wearing body armor and had multiple knives on him.

A grand jury heard testimony from 14 witnesses before taking only six minutes to decide that Medford police were justified in shooting and killing the teen.

Former U.S. Marshal Bill Keefer told us after the Georgeson shooting that law enforcement officials never want a shootout.

"No police officer wants to kill anyone you're not out there to hurt people. You're out there to take them in without incident," Keefer said.

What do you think? Sound off on our Facebook page and on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

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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