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.