MEDFORD, Ore.– A 32-year-old man is in the hospital after being shot in what police are calling a drive-by shooting. The man, who police have not identified, is in stable but critical condition at this point.
According to police reports, a call came in Tuesday night that a man had been shot in the carport of a residence on the 1700 block of Crater Lake Avenue. Neighbors nearby say they remember hearing several shots around 11 p.m. and some watched as a car quickly drove off south down the street.
“I’m just glad that everybody else is safe that was around the community, nobody else got hurt,” said Joseph Ortega, 22. He and his family live several doors down from where the shooting took place. “I’m glad that no children got hurt, it’s the biggest thing.”
Ortega says he remembers hearing the gunshots and first thought it was someone banging on his door. After he heard four shots he realized what was happening.
“I heard the first shot, kind of set off a warning type thing towards me and then I heard the three back to back and at that point, I decided to stand up, check outside and see what happened,” he said.
Ortega says he saw another neighbor run over and check on the man who was described in the police report as “bleeding profusely.” A Medford Police officer on duty at the time, several streets down immediately responded and began to tend to the man.
Lt. Mike Budreau of the Medford Police Department says the officer was EMT certified and applied “Quikclot” combat gauze to control the bleeding.
“He was able to apply that and get the profuse bleeding stopped which essentially, we think saved the victim’s life,” said Lt. Budreau.
The man was taken to Providence Hospital. Investigators still were not able to interview him at this time but they believe he was targeted. Gang-related activity is not being ruled out at this point says Lt. Budreau. He says drive-bys are a common tactic among gangs.
“If it is gang-related I think there is concern for retaliation and that’s what we’ve seen in the past,” said Lt. Budreau. “That’s why it’s so important for us to figure it out quickly.”
Police say they are looking for an older grey sedan that may have been the getaway car for the suspect or potential suspects. While police say there should be no threat to the public, neighbors are concerned.
Ortega, who is a new father, feels frustrated with this happening in a neighborhood with so many families and kids.
“It’s a little outrageous in my head now being a parent, I’m still a newly parent,” he said. “My kid means the world to me, I’d do anything and everything to protect my kid and my family. Situations and choices like that, it’s not right to be around children. It’s really not.”
Detectives are asking for folks who have video surveillance in the area to check their cameras.