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Deputies with Josephine County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) shot and killed a rural Cave Junction man Saturday night, April 28, following a  vehicle chase in the Caves Hwy/Holland Loop area. (UPDATE: Names of deputies involved released).

Just after 10 p.m., said JCSO, Deputy Robert Baker and his partner, Reserve Deputy Mike Holguin, attempted to stop 46-year-old Walter B. Phillips for a traffic violation near the intersection of Redwood Hwy. and Caves Hwy.

The sheriff’s office said that Phillips sped away on Caves Hwy., refusing to pull over when their lights were activated. The deputies activated lights and sirens and pursued Phillips, an Aries Lane resident, who turned onto Holland Loop. In the 9000 block of Holland Loop, Mr. Phillip’s skidded his vehicle to a stop, put the pick-up in reverse and rammed the patrol car. In an attempt to stop him, deputies fired their service weapons, striking Phillips.

Phillips was treated at the scene by American Medical Response and was subsequently airlifted by Mercy Flights to Providence Hospital in Medford, where he died a short time later. His next of kin has been notified.

One of the deputies received minor injuries, which required no medical attention.

The Josephine County Major Crime Response Team, which is comprised of investigators from Oregon State Police, Grants Pass Department of Public Safety, the District Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office, was activated. OSP was assigned by the District Attorney as the lead investigative agency.

The names of the deputies involved are being withheld at this time.

Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to contact Oregon State Police Detective Bryan Scott at 541-618-7957.

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15 Responses

  1. Gina Bridges Says:

    [Comment removed due to invalid email address - Editor]

    Posted on April 30th, 2012 at 4:12 am

  2. Betsey Norton Says:

    You get killed for evading and smashing the cop car?????? Couldn’t they just have shot the tires out or just winged the guy????? Trigger-happy????

    Posted on April 30th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

  3. John Luerding Says:

    They were travelling at excess of 90mph. The subject vehicle skidded to a stop..(remember 90mph) put into reverse and drove back into, up, and onto the police vehicle. (a vehicle with brush guard, and heavy reinforced front end and bumper) This requires speed and if the vehicle had oversize tires, it had height. So once the vehicle is over the bumper and on the hood of the police.. whats next? That’s right the cabin compartment of the vehicle. Keep in mind.. this vehicle is now traveling at I’m going to guess at least 10mph probably more..less than twenty force and friction applying here.. ask yourself this question.. Could you stand in front of a moving truck/car that is travelling at 10 to twenty miles an hour.. let it hit you, roll over you and live. A vehicle that weights nearly 1ton=2,000lbs. For more perspective.. multiply the weight of that vehicle.. 2,000lbs times the speed of say ten miles per hour and that’s how hard its going to hit you. Now back to your question.. couldn’t they have shot the tires?? Stop thinking of movies.. this was split second reaction that saved their lives.
    I was a police officer in the military for twenty years. I specialized in fatality accident investigations. These officers, from what I have heard from the audio dispatch recording, exercised their use of force well with in departmental standards.

    Posted on April 30th, 2012 at 11:46 pm

  4. Kim Garcia Says:

    John Luerding, Thank you for explaining this in detailed step by step, basically what so many are so quick to over look. Like you said, this aint the movies and a vehicle is a weapon. This is still pretty fresh and alot still needs to be looked at, but so far people need to keep all there negitive comments to themselves until more facts are surfaced. Don’t forget, these COPS are the one’s YOU call when you feel your endangered or justice needs to be explained or whatever!,……my point is, they are out there putting their own lives in danger for US and we are so quick to burn them down the second something like this happens!
    OH and by the way, the guy who was shot,………has a criminal record the size of the Webster Dictionary! Sure, lets always feel sorry for the criminal and not the guy HE was trying kill first!

    Posted on May 1st, 2012 at 12:02 pm

  5. Chris Says:

    Sorry, but I’m all for the cops. One less felon around.

    Posted on May 1st, 2012 at 2:44 pm

  6. Citizen 1 Says:

    Betsy Norton must be a idiot or a cracker!

    Posted on May 3rd, 2012 at 7:58 pm

  7. PBS-CJ Says:

    Betsey,
    No. You get killed when you attempt to kill someone else. In this case an armed LEO.
    “Couldn’t they just have shot the tires out…” This is not Starsky and Hutch.
    “…or just winged the guy?…” It was dark and the guy had just attempted to murder two LEO’s. If someone attempted to kill you with their vehicle would YOU be able to “wing” them, in the dark?

    Posted on May 4th, 2012 at 9:05 am

  8. Kim Garcia Says:

    PBS CJ,…..Did you NOT read, what ” John Luerding” wrote?? (who was a police officer in the military for 20 years that SPECIALIZED IN fatailty accident INVESTIGATIONS!!!!) He explained pretty detailed for people who are , slow… and even give you a chance to put yourself in this situation and no,…this isnt the movies, like YOU even mentioned. At least your on the same page here on that one, but dont be so quick to judge or act like these officers HAD a CHOICE!!!! Split second, life or death???? Whats the difference if It’s a gun or a vehicle going your way and it’s intention is to do Kill you? What IS the DIFFERNCE? Your going to hold up two fingers and yell peace!!!???? LOL>>>>>

    Posted on May 5th, 2012 at 12:10 am

  9. PBS-CJ Says:

    Kim,
    You did WHAT and fell in it? Did you even read what I wrote?
    Or are YOU the one to “be so quick to judge or act”.
    Read, comprehend, THEN write.

    Posted on May 5th, 2012 at 10:52 am

  10. PBS-CJ Says:

    Oh, and it’s you’re not “your”.

    Posted on May 5th, 2012 at 10:53 am

  11. Panman Says:

    Live by the sword, die by the sword. One less shithead endangering our families. Betsey is out there with the woman who thinks oil lubricates the earths crust. And they vote! Stop the world, I wanna get off.

    Posted on May 8th, 2012 at 11:06 pm

  12. Kim Garcia Says:

    PBS-CJ says, Im sorry, I was quick to judge.

    Posted on May 22nd, 2012 at 1:54 pm

  13. Kim Garcia Says:

    PBS-CJ says, First, I know one of the officers personally. I am in just as much shock as anyone about the whole thing, and when i hear people slandering whose fault it was or WHY did they NOT do or take other actions, fired me up. WE WERE NOT THERE! AND, we don’t have the full story.
    As of last week, there was a letter in the local newspaper, that really made me sit back in my chair and see a new light on this. I cant remember the lady who wrote it, but i’m sure it’s easy to find in last week’s paper. She was not blaming either side, but it will make your hair stand. Let me know what you think if you get a chance to read it.

    Posted on May 22nd, 2012 at 2:13 pm

  14. PBS-CJ Says:

    Kim, Apology accepted. I was responding to a post with several ridiculous questions. If someone tried to run me down with their car, I’d shoot them also. And you can be sure that I am equipped to do so.

    Posted on July 30th, 2012 at 9:01 am

  15. Buck Johnson Says:

    This is why, I prefer to see the sheriffs, late to the scene. The guy needed shooting. But, only because there was someone there to do it. This was an offer, honored. Like I said, in another response, I don’t want to see dead sheriffs. If this was their decision, as to what might avoid them that fate, I’m not going to second guess them. Or, complain. This is a sad thing for them, too. Maybe they don’t see it. But, it is.

    Posted on January 6th, 2013 at 4:35 pm

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