MEDFORD, Ore. — The Medford Police Department has identified the man shot and killed by officers responding to an apparent break-in at a Crater Lake Avenue clinic in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
According to the agency, two officers initially responded to the Allergy and Asthma Center building for a burglary alarm around 2:44 a.m., arriving to find one of the windows broken. The officers could hear a suspect still inside the building.
"The suspect relayed to the officers he was armed with a knife," MPD said.
More Medford Police officers and deputies from the Jackson County Sheriff's Office soon arrived and set up a perimeter around the building.
At 3:05 a.m., MPD said that the suspect suddenly came out of the building and "aggressively approached officers with the knife." Two officers shot him at close range.
The dead man was identified as 34-year-old Jerry Allen Gunter, who had a lengthy criminal history between Josephine, Jackson, and Douglas counties. Court documents suggest that he was homeless. Medford Police said that his next of kin have been notified.
In June, Gunter pleaded guilty to a criminal mischief charge after he wrapped a rock inside of a plastic bag and hurled it through the window of Cave Junction City Hall. The day before the rock-throwing incident, Gunter was arrested when he exposed himself to staff at Southern Oregon Head Start after peering into car windows and checking car door handles along the street, according to a probable cause statement filed by the Josephine County Sheriff's Office.
Both of the officers who fired at Gunter have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is typical procedure in an officer-involved shooting.
Oregon State Police is the lead agency in a Major Assault and Death Investigation Unit (MADIU) inquest into the deadly shooting. The results of that investigation will generally be presented before a grand jury, once completed, to determine if the officers could be criminally liable.