A 20-year-old Medford man is dead, fatally shot by a U.S. Marshal. Medford Police say marshals were trying to arrest Jimmy Georgeson in the Albertson’s parking lot on January 5, 2012, when the situation turned deadly.
Medford Police said Georgeson is a wanted federal suspect who was in violation of his parole. The U.S. Marshal Service was serving an arrest warrant when Georgeson rammed his SUV into the Marshal’s car. The Marshal then fired his gun. Witnesses report hearing several gun shots.
Marshals tried pinning in Georgeson’s SUV in front of Albertson’s, but he was able to back up. One marshal got out and opened fire. Georgeson ran into a pillar, and then sped forward, ramming a marshal’s car and another car.
Another marshal got out and tried getting in position. Georgeson backed up again, hitting another marshal’s car. Both marshals got in position and opened fire. In all, they fired twenty rounds, four hit Georgeson. Surveillance cameras captured the scene at the front of the store: people seeing and hearing the gunfire and crouching inside for safety. At least one deputy marshal called 911 asking for rescue. Medford Police said Georgeson was pronounced dead on scene.
Two other subjects were in Georgeson’s car at the time of the shooting. Medford Police took them into custody for questioning. Hundreds of onlookers were kept back by yards of crime scene tape; detectives interviewed several dozen witnesses.
The circumstances surrounding the shooting caused a great deal of concern in the Medford community, most of it focused on the actions of the two marshals. The main question was why the marshals chose make an arrest on Georgeson in a public place with many bystanders present at the scene.
Friends and family of Jimmy Georgeson initially called his death “murder”, saying this incident could have been handled differently. In the days following Jimmy Georgeson’s shooting, friends and supporters of Georgeson gathered in front of the Jackson County Courthouse in an effort to raise awareness about what they feel is an injustice. They held signs that read “murder” and stood in silent protest.
Jimmy’s mother, Seppie, tells NewsWatch12 that her son was a drug user and has committed crimes, but did not deserve to be killed. Jimmy’s family readily admits that he had troubles with the law. His mother says her son’s compulsive behavior and mental disabilities landed him in jail several times.
Georgeson was in juvenile detention as a teenager and was currently wanted for attacking a deputy marshal in 2009, a charge the family says is overblown. They do know Jimmy had a drug problem, saying he was mainly using pot, but had used more serious drugs, even over-dosing three times. His continual drug use and the crimes he committed impacted the family. Ultimately, however, Jimmy’s family says they’ll remember him as the boy they took vacations with, who had a gift with words, and the son and brother who gave the best hugs.
Ultimately, the Jackson County Grand Jury decided that two U.S. Marshals were justified in shooting Jimmy Georgeson. The Grand Jury heard testimony from more than 40 witnesses including the three involved U.S. Marshals.
The Deputy District Attorney, David Hoppe, says Georgeson’s family was also able to testify even though they weren’t there at the shooting. Hoppe says this is the first time it’s happened but it was allowed after the family’s attorney requested it. The identity of the two other individuals in the car with Georgeson during the shooting will not be released because they were juveniles. Hoppe says a total of 20 shots were fired and four hit Georgeson.
During the U.S. Marshals’ testimony, they said the initial plan was to pin Georgeson in a parking lot. But they didn’t say why they still chose to pursue Georgeson at an Albertsons parking lot.