Attempted murder suspect Benjamin Foster dead after long police standoff

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Just over a week after Benjamin Obadiah Foster was wanted for an attempted murder, he took his own life Tuesday night, after a standoff with police.

But after evading law enforcement in Sunny Valley last week, Oregon state police now believe foster was also connected to two homicides in rural Josephine County.

“We have no outstanding suspects in relation to the deaths of Mr. Barron and Mr. Griffith. We believe those are related to Benjamin Foster,” Oregon State Police captain Kyle Kennedy said.

The victims were discovered brutally beaten on January 31, according to police.

Their names are 74-year-old Richard Lee Barron Jr and 65-year-old Donald Owen Griffith.

Police are unsure about their connection with foster.

But it started with a tip from a cab driver coming from Sunny Valley.

Grants Pass police said Foster went to the same house, where a woman was discovered bound and beaten, at a residence in the 2100 block of Shane Way

“We immediately activated our swat team, we immediately reached out to all of our colleagues and partners to deploy people to the residence immediately,” Grants Pass police chief Warren Hensman said.

On Tuesday night, several agencies, including SWAT, surrounded the home as foster was believed to be inside.

The standoff lasted for hours.

Police said they searched the entire house, with no sign of Foster, until they found him buried deep under the house.

“We knew there was a crawl space, so as we continue that methodical search of the crawl space, using Jackson County Sheriff’s robot, we came across several indicators that he was in there and then we confirmed it via camera,” Hensman said.

After continuous calls, Foster wouldn’t answer.

Police said he later shot himself, resulting in a gunshot wound.

They believed he was dead, but they soon discovered he was alive.

“Utilizing technology, we were confident that he was deceased underneath that house,” Hensman said. “We couldn’t confirm it, but we were confident. When we actually physically and safely approach this man, who still had a weapon in his hand, we noticed he was still breathing.”

Foster was pronounced dead almost immediately when he arrived at the hospital, according to police.

Police said they are still gathering more information on this case.

They also provided an update on the victim, who they are not releasing the name of yet, but GPPD said Foster and her were previously in a domestic relationship.

Currently, she is in critical, but stable condition.

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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