Medford, Ore — In just minutes a grand jury clears a Medford police sergeant who shot and killed a shoplifting suspect at the Sportsman’s Warehouse in Medford last month.
A multitude of witness statements and video from three different businesses in the area of the shooting proved enough evidence to clear Sgt. Darrel Graham of any wrongdoing in the death of suspected shoplifter Timothy Caruthers.
“It was clear he was a police officer, that he was armed and told mister Caruthers to stop.”
The video ends dramatically, with suspect, 27-year-old Timothy Caruthers just out of view.
“There’s video from both here looking at it and there’s video from the Pennzoil looking at it,” said District Attorney Beth Heckert, showing a diagram of the scene to reporters.
On January 18th Caruthers took on an off-duty cop after an attempted shoplifting incident at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Medford.
“They tried to take Mr. Caruthers in for shoplifting, he was taken into a loss prevention office… At one point he picked up the knife that he had set on the bench, opened it up with his teeth,” said Heckert. Surveillance video shows Caruthers threatening store employees with the knife before running through the entrance of the store with Sgt. Graham close behind.
Heckert says Sgt. Darrell Graham, who was in the store at the time chased Caruthers across busy Highway 62 before the final confrontation near Crater Car Wash. Video from the scene shows Caruthers running behind a car, just out of view of the cameras. Sgt. Graham, a few feet away in the video has his gun aimed at Caruthers.
“He stopped, he turned and he thrust the knife in the direction of Sgt. Graham and at that point Sgt. Graham shot twice, the first shot struck Mr. Caruthers in the chest, and the second shot struck him in the head,” said Heckert.
Caruthers died at the scene.
After watching the tapes, and hearing from several witnesses, it took a grand jury just seven minutes decided Sgt. Graham’s actions were justified.
“Sgt. Graham’s commands were very loud, and very clear,” said Heckert.
Sgt. Graham was placed on administrative leave following the shooting.
Interim Police Chief Randy Sparacino says Sgt. Graham will now return to work some point this week.
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