White City Neighborhood Startled By Rapid Gunfire on Thanksgiving

White City Neighborhood Startled By Rapid Gunfire on Thanksgiving

Posted: Nov. 24, 2017 6:47 PM
Updated: Nov. 24, 2017 6:47 PM

WHITE CITY, Ore.-- As Thanksgiving dinner was winding down Thursday night, neighbors in the area of Terrmont St. and Castle Circle were alarmed to hear the sound of gunshots.

The suspect, 34-year-old Jaime Merlos, fled the scene.

Deputies were able to locate him this morning and make an arrest.

Cosme Sandoval says, "Really loud banging noise."

Cosme Sandoval has lived on this quiet cul de sac for 15 years.

But last night, as the thanksgiving festivities were winding down, his family was startled by several rounds of gun fire.

Cosme Sandoval says, "We hear this boom-boom, and I go it's probably fireworks and my neighbors came out and I figured that's not fireworks or they wouldn't come out."

Many neighbors were confused by the sound, since there were some fireworks lit last night.

Sgt. Eric Henderson says, "Some of the neighbors could recognize the fireworks but some of them could hear the muzzle blast when the gun was fired."

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office says it got tons of calls.

Sgt. Eric Henderson says, "It scared everyone in the neighborhood there. The male actually got in his pick up and fled the scene before deputies got there."

When deputies arrived, they found 12 shell casings from the gun, and a live round on the ground.

Sgt. Eric Henderson says, "A 34-year-old man from Central Point took an AK 47 without a stock and started shooting rounds in the air."

That man, Jaime Merlos drove off.

Sgt Henderson says managed to track him down thanks to witlessness describing the truck.

With the recent influx of shootings in Jackson County this week neighbors are thankful no one was hurt in this case

Cosme Sandoval says, "My son is always right there, I have a 16 year old who is always shooting hoops so I am glad they arrested him because that's stupid what he did."

Sgt. Eric Henderson says, “It really puts a lot of people at risk shooting off a bunch of rounds, you don't know where they're going to go, someone could have been killed."

The Sheriff's Office says this incident doesn't appear to be gang related.

Merlos is in the Jackson County Jail.

He has a list of charges including unlawful use of a weapon and reckless endangering.

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