Medford Police Dept.
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News Releases
Officers Investigate Shooting in Downtown Medford - 09/30/22

On 9/22/22, at 9:55 P.M., Officers responded to the area of Almond Street and E. 9th Street for reports of shots being fired and a gunshot victim on scene.  Detectives and an MPD forensic technician were called out to investigate the incident and collect evidence at the crime scene.

The detectives learned the suspect drove into the parking lot located to the west of the intersection of Almond Street and E. 9th Street. The victim was on foot in that area and approached the suspect, who was sitting in his vehicle. The victim was shot while in close proximity to the suspect’s vehicle, which fled the scene.

The suspect fired additional rounds while driving from the area. One of rounds entered a nearby residence, which resulted in no injuries.    

A citizen who witnessed the incident loaded the victim into his vehicle and transported the victim to the hospital. The victim was later flown to a Portland-area hospital for further treatment.     

Detectives are diligently working on investigative leads to identify the suspect in this incident.  The identity of the victim is not being released at this time. 

Additional details will be provided at appropriate times during this investigation.  

Update (September 30, 2022): 

On September 29, 2022 Medford Police Detectives located and arrested Spencer James Bliss, 22 years old, in connection with the shooting. Bliss was lodged at the Jackson County Jail for Assault I, Attempted Murder, and Recklessly Endangering. 

The victim has been identified as Andrew Lewis Fuentez, 29 years old. Fuentez is still in the Portland area receiving treatment for his injuries and is in critical, but stable condition. 

The investigation revealed Bliss and Fuentez got into a verbal altercation. Bliss was armed with a handgun during this encounter, but did not produce it. The two parted ways and came into contact a short time later in the area of E. 9th St. and Almond St. At that time, Bliss produced the handgun and shot Fuentez during a close-quarters argument. 

Updated Pedestrian Enforcement Operation Location (4th and Bartlett St.) - 09/29/22

On Friday, September 30, 2022 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, the Medford Police Department and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting a joint “Targeted Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operation” on E 4th Street and Bartlett Street within the City of Medford.  The operation will focus on drivers failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians in the crosswalk.  It is important to know there are two marked crosswalks at this location that cross E 4th Street.   

These operations are to raise pedestrian safety awareness through enforcement of pedestrian right of way laws with the use of a decoy pedestrian operation at targeted locations.  Violators may be cited for failure to stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian in a marked or unmarked crosswalk or passing a stopped vehicle at a marked or unmarked crosswalk. Both violations carry a presumptive fine of $265.00.  Drivers should be reminded there is a crosswalk at every intersection, regardless if it is marked or unmarked.           

Drivers are reminded of the Oregon laws that require a driver must stop and remain stopped if a pedestrian is walking in your lane of traffic or the lane adjacent, remembering this applies on single and multi-lane roadways.  Oregon law also prohibits passing a stopped vehicle at a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection if the vehicle is stopped to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway.

Targeted Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operation - 09/28/22

On Friday, September 30, 2022 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, the Medford Police Department and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting a joint “Targeted Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operation” on E 4th Street and Front Street within the City of Medford.  The operation will focus on drivers failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians in the crosswalk.  It is important to know there are two marked crosswalks at this location that cross E 4th Street.   

These operations are to raise pedestrian safety awareness through enforcement of pedestrian right of way laws with the use of a decoy pedestrian operation at targeted locations.  Violators may be cited for failure to stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian in a marked or unmarked crosswalk or passing a stopped vehicle at a marked or unmarked crosswalk. Both violations carry a presumptive fine of $265.00.  Drivers should be reminded there is a crosswalk at every intersection, regardless if it is marked or unmarked.           

Drivers are reminded of the Oregon laws that require a driver must stop and remain stopped if a pedestrian is walking in your lane of traffic or the lane adjacent, remembering this applies on single and multi-lane roadways.  Oregon law also prohibits passing a stopped vehicle at a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection if the vehicle is stopped to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway.

K-9_Nacho.jpg
K-9_Nacho.jpg
MPD K-9's First in State to Become Certified in Fentanyl Detection (Photo) - 09/22/22

In an effort to combat the rise in fentanyl use and overdoses in our community, the Medford Police K-9 team partnered with the California Narcotic Canine Association (CNCA) to safely train and certify K-9’s and handling officers in fentanyl detection.

 

Last month, MPD K-9 Nacho and K-9 Max completed the certification process becoming the first two police service dogs in the state to be certified by a police K-9 association to detect fentanyl.

 

“This innovative effort was led by K-9 Officer Havice. It’s thanks to his diligent work and extensive research that we were able to connect with CNCA and complete this impactful K-9 training,” said Lieutenant Mark Cromwell. 

 

Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement (MADGE) has seen an extreme increase in powdered fentanyl which poses a significant risk of exposure to Officers and K-9’s. Safety measures are in place for all responders and service dogs which includes having Narcan on hand to deploy if necessary.

 

K-9 Max has already been deployed and successfully detected fentanyl – which led to the seizure of more than 6 ounces of powdered fentanyl. 

 

The recent certification of K-9 Nacho and K-9 Max will help in our efforts to save lives and limit the amount of fentanyl in our community. 

Attached Media Files: K-9_Nacho.jpg , K-9_Max.jpg
MPD Responds to False Active Shooter Incident - 09/16/22

On September 16, 2022 at 12:02 p.m., Officers were dispatched to South Medford High School for the report of an active shooter incident.  One School Resource Officer (SRO) was on scene at the time of the report and many other officers, as well as other SRO’s, responded to assist with the incident.  The school was placed on lockdown and following a coordinated search of the building and surrounding area, it was quickly determined the report was false.  Shortly after, staff and students were able to return to class.   

“Having an SRO onsite proved to be an invaluable resource for us today,” said Lieutenant Pietila. “The SRO quickly helped coordinate our response to this incident and worked in conjunction with school staff to ensure the safety of our students.” 

It is a crime under O.R.S. 162.375 to initiate a false report related to emergencies involving danger to lives or property.  These types of false reports cause a substantial amount of alarm in our community. MPD takes these situations very seriously and will work to make an arrest on this case.     

Our department is dedicated to the safety of our students, school staff and surrounding residents. In addition to our SRO program, all officers receive significant training in the response to active threat situations in our community.  This is to ensure we respond quickly and efficiently to critical incidents like the one today.  

MPD appreciates the close partnership we have with the Medford School District and together, we were able to resolve this incident quickly.

Medford Police Department to Launch Drone Program - 09/16/22

The Medford Police Department is now taking to the skies to help fight crime. 

The Drone Response Team, comprised of three officers, will assist with many tasks, from searching for missing and endangered individuals to providing a bird’s eye view when tracking fleeing suspects. The drones will also greatly enhance crash and crime scene reconstruction and, in some cases, eliminate the need of commissioning additional on scene resources.

In addition, the drones will be used to assess damage caused by natural disasters. These drones may also assist in identifying illegal and unregistered drones that could pose a threat to public safety.

Three officers have completed required training and certification to operate all four drones. The team will also have a dedicated vehicle for the program.

“We are excited to implement a program that will increase the abilities of our officers and department,” said Police Chief, Justin Ivens. “The Drone Response Team will play an important role in assisting our agency in times of need.”

Forfeiture funds were used to purchase the drones. Ongoing costs to operate the devices will include system upgrades and will be budgeted accordingly in future budget cycles.

Drone Response Teams have been implemented in numerous police departments throughout the state and across the country.

Conte booking photo
Conte booking photo
Medford Police Investigate Homicide (Photo) - 09/08/22

On September 8, 2022 at approximately 8:30 a.m. Medford Police Officers responded to the 200 block of Lincoln St. for a report of gunshots and a disturbance heard in the area. Officers arrived on scene and located a victim in the street with apparent gunshot wounds. The victim was transported by Mercy Flights to a local hospital and pronounced deceased. Detectives are currently on scene investigating the case. Victim information will be released once the proper next of kin notifications have been made. We would encourage anyone with information about this case to contact the Medford Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at 541-774-2230 (case 22-15364). 

Update:

Medford Police Detectives have identified a suspect in the homicide. Police are on the lookout for Shawn Robert Conte, 26 years old. Conte should be considered armed and dangerous. If you see this subject please call 911. If you have information that may lead to his whereabouts, please call Medford Police Detective Hull (541-774-2283). 

Attached Media Files: Conte booking photo
Officers respond to bear attack in West Medford - 09/07/22

CORRECTION:

The time of the incident on 9/6/22 was 21:43 Hours, not 09:43 hours.  

UPDATE:

On 9/6/22 at approximately 9:43 hours, officers responded to the 1100 block of Pinecroft Avenue in response to a bear sighting.  The resident reported a bear was in a tree in her front yard.  Upon arrival, officers set up a perimeter and called OSP and ODFW for assistance with the incident.  The bear was in the general area of the prior night’s attack incident. As officers were waiting assistance from OSP and ODFW, the bear started to climb out of the tree to flee. Officers on scene shot and killed the bear for the safety of the community.  Per ODFW policy, a bear that is a threat to human life is not eligible for any relocation program.  OSP and ODFW collected the bear for inspection and confirmed it was the bear from the prior night’s attack based on the investigative evidence.

 

On 9/5/22 at approximately 8:41 p.m., officers responded to the 900 block of N. Ross Lane for the report of a woman who was attacked by a bear.  Upon arrival, officers learned the woman was in her backyard when a bear, estimated to be 150-200 pounds, rushed her and attacked her.  The woman sustained non-life threatening injuries to her left arm and left leg.  The woman’s dog intervened and was also attacked, but together, the woman and her dog were able to chase the bear off.  After the bear fled, it ran in front of a vehicle on N. Ross Lane and was struck and likely injured, but it fled from there.  Oregon State Police Troopers from the Fish and Game Division responded to assist officers with an extensive search of the area for the bear, but it was not located.  In addition, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife was notified of the incident. Several additional calls came in throughout the night with sightings in that area.  Please call MPD with any sighting information as soon as possible to ensure the safety of our community members. 

If you happen to encounter a bear, we have included previous safety tips from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Make Noise- Raise your voice and speak firmly, yell and clap your hands.

Don’t Run- Do not run or make sudden movements. 

Back away slowly as you face the bear. It is never safe to approach it. 

Give any bear you encounter a way to escape.

If you’re on a trail, step off and slowly walk away.

If you see bear cubs, steer clear and leave the area immediately.

Black bear attacks are rare. In most cases, a bear will avoid human contact.

Fight back- in the rare event of an attack. Keep bear spray handy for quick access and practice using it. Be aggressive, shout, and throw tools, sticks, and rocks. 

To learn more about living with bears, visit the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s webpage: https://www.dfw.state.or.us/.../living_with/black_bears.asp