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Grand Jury Clears Deputies in Eagle Point Standoff for Shots Fired

During a tense standoff at a home east of Eagle Point, the suspect exchanged shots with officers outside. No one was seriously hurt in the incident.

Posted: Oct 31, 2018 2:06 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — A grand jury has cleared two officers with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO) of any wrongdoing after they returned fire on a man who had barricaded himself inside a home east of Eagle Point, according to the Jackson County District Attorney's office.

On the afternoon of October 23, law enforcement received a 911 call from Kelly Rich, who claimed that her son had "threatened her earlier in the day." She claimed that when she returned home in her car, she found her son Warren Alexander Rich, "who is not allowed on her property," had taken a rifle from inside her house and began to point it at her.

According to the DA's office, Kelly Rich threw her car into reverse and left the scene in order to call 911. Deputies from JCSO arrived soon after.

When deputies arrived, they tried talking to Warren Rich, who was inside of his parents' home. They set up a perimeter around the home while a SWAT vehicle approached in order to "communicate" with Warren.

"During the next hour and a half, while being armed with a firearm Warren Rich moved from the first to the second story of the house several times, engaging in conversation from open windows with deputies outside the house. At some point he made threats to deputies on the perimeter," the DA's office said.

Eventually, deputies tossed a cell phone up near the porch so that they could speak with Warren more directly. Just before 6:30 p.m., Warren told the deputies that he was going to fire the rifle into the air — which he did, according to the DA's office.

Next, Warren went onto the porch where two nearby officers — Deputy Murillo and Corporal Biddle — asked him to pick up the phone. In response, Warren said that he was going to shoot the phone, though "this was discouraged by the deputies." Warren shot the phone.

At that, Warren reportedly fired the rifle at the two officers.

"Corporal Biddle returned fire fearing that deputies' lives were at stake. Deputy Murillo returned fire fearing for his own safety," the DA's office said.

No one was hit in the exchange, and Warren retreated back into the house. The standoff would continue for six or seven more hours, until a "SWAT robot" entered the house and found that Warren did not have the rifle in his hands. SWAT then rushed into the house, taking Warren into custody.

On Wednesday, both Deputy Murillo and Corporal Biddle were cleared of any wrongdoing by the grand jury for firing shots at Warren Rich. The grand jury also decided to indict Rich on charges of Attempted Aggravated Murder, Attempted Assault in the First Degree, thre counts of Burglary in the First Degree, Burglary in the Second Degree, two counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree.

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