Medford Police said it began at Sportsman’s Warehouse across the highway with a call about a shoplifter. They said the suspect menaced employees with a knife then ran. An off-duty officer in the store at the time chased behind.
Police said the officer caught up with the suspect at the oil shop and fired his gun after the person charged at the officer with a knife.
Pita Pit Manager Jatoya McKinney said even though the oil shop is across the busy highway she heard the gunshots above all the traffic.
“I was just standing in the doorway and my coworkers were rolling and doing all that and I hear a boom boom!,” McKinney said.
She realized it was something serious when a swarm of police cars and firetrucks converged on the oil shop.
“Just knowing we had customers here, kids, bullets don’t have names on them they could have gone anywhere,” she said.
The Jackson County major Assault and Death Investigation is now conducting the investigation led by Oregon State Police. Medford Police said they will hold a news conference Tuesday morning at 11:00.