Police subdue wanted suspect

Officers search Richie Lee Nevis after a standoff in front of an Eagle Point market Wednesday night. Mail Tribune / Bob PennellMail Tribune Bob Pennell

Eagle Point standoff ends when officers shoot supposedly armed man with beanbag rounds


EAGLE POINT ' A man wanted in California was subdued by police who fired several beanbag rounds at him following an hour-long standoff in a busy supermarket parking lot Wednesday night.

Police swarmed a parking lot near Ray's Food Place in the 11100 block of Highway 62 at about 8:15 p.m. because they believed Richie Lee Nevis, 54, of Santa Cruz, Calif., was armed with a gun, Eagle Point Police Chief David Strand said.

But after two non-lethal beanbag rounds fired from a 12-gauge shotgun struck Nevis and police were able to tackle him and place him under arrest, officers found he had been using a small flashlight to simulate a handgun, Strand said.

It appeared he had a weapon in his hand, Strand said. I wasn't sure if it was a gun, but I wasn't going to take any chances.

Earlier this week, Santa Cruz police relayed information to Strand that Nevis may be in Eagle Point. Nevis is wanted in California on felony assault charges.
— A pair of Eagle Point police officers stopped Nevis' black Ford Mustang in the parking lot at about 8:15 p.m., prompting the California man to run toward the supermarket and hide behind a U-Haul truck.

A woman who was a passenger in the Mustang was placed in a patrol vehicle while police tried to negotiate with Nevis. The woman, whose name was not available, is not expected to face charges.

Strand said Santa Cruz authorities told Eagle Point police that Nevis was not afraid of a bloody confrontation with police.

We had information that he wanted to be shot by a cop, he said. We knew he wanted us to shoot him.

But police ended making an arrest without using lethal force. Strand said the beanbag rounds struck Nevis in the abdomen and back, resulting in a couple of nasty bruises. Nevis was taken to a Medford hospital late Wednesday before being transported to the Jackson County Jail.

The events were witnessed by dozens of onlookers, including several Ray's shoppers. The U-Haul used by Nevis as a shield from police was situated less than 100 feet from the store's entrance.

I came out and got everybody inside before I locked down the store, said Eric Shull, Ray's night manager. We heard at least three shots. Lots of kids in here were pretty shaken up.

Police shut down a portion of Highway 62 during the standoff. Other local roads leading to the supermarket also were closed. Jackson County sheriff's deputies and Oregon State Police troopers assisted Eagle Point police during the confrontation.

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