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Grants Pass murder suspect arrested

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Grants Pass Police arrest four in robbery, attempted kidnapping, and fentanyl investigation


UPDATE: The Grants Pass Police Department has just informed NewsWatch 12 that the murder suspect in the death of 39-year-old Tobias Devin Johnson has been caught.

Police have informed NewsWatch 12 that 42-year-old Paul S. Dayton of Rogue River has been arrested and is being charged with Murder in the Second Degree and Unlawful Use of a Weapon. 

After clearing from the crime scene, Grants Pass Police have informed us that detectives continued working on leads and follow up on evidence throughout the night.

NewsWatch 12 has learned that after conducting the additional investigation, a name was developed for a possible suspect and detectives were able to determine the arrestee, Paul Dayton, was involved in this incident and obtained a search warrant for his residence in the area of Wards Creek Road in Rogue River, Or. 

Due to the severity of the crime and an unknown threat to the public, Jackson County Sheriff's Office was contacted for assistance with serving the warrant for Dayton.

According to Grants Pass Police, The Rogue River Police Department also assisted with looking for the suspect in this case and provided resources for our officers and detectives while conducting follow up in the Rogue River area.  One additional witness to the incident was located at the Lil' Pantry in Rogue River prior to the warrant being served.  Dayton was located at his residence and was taken into custody without incident by members of the Jackson County SWAT and Negotiations teams.  

Due to the diligence of the detective unit and assistance from partnering agencies in Jackson County, Grants Pass Police say that Dayton was safely taken into custody approximately 16 hours after the initial reported incident. Without the assistance from the Josephine County District Attorney, Oregon State Police Forensics Unit, Jackson County Sheriff's Office and the cooperation of any witnesses to this case, Grants Pass Police says they would not have been able to successfully close this case in a timely manner.

INITIAL REPORT: Saturday night around 9:15 pm, the Grants Pass Police Department responded to Flespy's Bar and Grill for a report of a male subject laying on the sidewalk, unconscious with blood on him.  

Officers were quick to arrive and located citizens attempting to provide emergency medical treatment to a male subject laying near the front of the building.  

Grants Pass Fire Rescue and AMR also responded and provided medical treatment to the man. 

Despite the rapid response of emergency personnel, the male was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Detectives, Josephine County District Attorney, and Oregon State Police Forensics unit are conducting an investigation and it’s being treated as a criminal matter.

Fruitdale Drive was closed for all traffic for approximately 4 hours while the scene was processed. 

Next of kin have been notified and the deceased man has been identified as Tobias Johnson.  

Further details will be released by police when available.  

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Det. Shaw with the Grants Pass Police Department at 541-450-6260. 

Follow @KDRV12 on Facebook and @KDRV on Twitter for the latest news, sports, and weather in Southern Oregon and Northern California.


Tyler Ridgle joined the NewsWatch 12 team as a reporter and producer in September of 2020.

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