“The suspect stopped and turned towards the officer and swung the knife at him,” Interim Police Chief Randy Sparacino said during a press conference Tuesday, “the officer then fired two shots at him and the suspect was immediately stopped.
The suspect in Monday’s officer involved shooting has been identified as 27-year-old Timothy Caruthers, a Medford area resident. Police say he was a convicted sex offender who was out on parole and wanted for a parole violation.
According to police, Caruthers was being questioned by loss prevention staff at the Sportsman’s Warehouse when an off-duty officer stepped in.
“The suspect was being uncooperative, and the off-duty officer identified himself as a police officer and presented his badge,” Sparacino said.
The officer removed himself from the situation and Caruthers was led to a loss prevention office, that’s when police say things escalated.
“The suspect produced a knife and slashed at the store personnel to escape from the office.”
The off-duty officer then chased Caruthers to the Crater Car Wash across Highway 62. He told him to drop his weapon, but police say, that didn’t happen.
“He turned, and swung the knife at the officer.”
Caruthers was shot twice and pronounced dead on scene. Police say, the officer followed department policy.
“An off-duty officer is a sworn officer 24/7/365,” Sparacino says, “if you witness a crime in your presence you’re encouraged to be a good witness but if the circumstances are escalated to a point where there’s no choice, the officer will engage and try to stop it, and that’s what happened in this case.”
It will now be up to a grand jury to decide if the officer’s actions were justified. The officer involved has been placed on administrative leave which is standard procedure, and will not be identified until the case is presented to a grand jury. The district attorney’s office says that could take 4 to 6 weeks. Meanwhile, anyone who witnessed the incident or has information that could be helpful in the case is asked to call OSP at 541-664-8762.