A man who allegedly tried to force his way into a White City house Monday afternoon was shot dead by the resident in what police say appears to be an act of self-defense.
Jackson County sheriff's spokeswoman Andrea Carlson said 49-year-old Mark Corsbie of Medford had tried to get into several homes in the neighborhood before running up to the front door at 7898 Andrea Drive at about 1:25 p.m., saying he was being chased.
Carlson said the resident was inside the house with his daughter and grandson, and shot Corsbie once in the torso with a .357-caliber handgun after Corsbie tried to force his way inside.
Corsbie, who was standing on the porch at the time, ended up dead on his back in the front lawn, police said. The shooting unfolded as one of the others inside described the events to a police dispatcher on the telephone, police said.
One of the people inside the residence opened the door before the shooting occurred, and Carlson said she did not know why.
Investigators were trying to determine whether the victim's behavior before the shooting was caused by drugs, a mental issue or other circumstances, Carlson said.
She did not identify the man who lived at the home but said he had been taken to headquarters for questioning and was released about an hour later.
Carlson said the shooter wasn't sure why Corsbie was trying to force his way into the home.
Based on the initial investigation, the resident was attempting to defend his home, Carlson said. No arrests have been made, and investigators expect to have the case reviewed by a Jackson County grand jury.
Friends have identified the alleged shooter as Norm Thomas, 66, a career military man retired from the U.S. Air Force.
Terry Grogan and his wife, Lorna Zeitler of Eagle Point, arrived at the home on Andrea Drive to comfort Thomas' daughter, Kristina Thomas, 36. They said Norm Thomas is an "honorable, law-abiding man."
"Knowing him, I cannot imagine him shooting someone unless he had good cause," said Grogan, 70, who has known Thomas for 10 years.
"He wouldn't have done it unless he had to," added Zeitler, 69. "He's a wonderful man. He's a good grandfather, a good family man — very conscientious."
Thomas was in the house with his daughter and 12-year-old grandson at the time of the shooting, Zeitler said.
Investigators pored over the crime scene, taking photos of Corsbie lying on his back on the front lawn, his head facing the street, with blood around his head and neck. Corsbie was bald with tattoos on his right arm and chest. He was shirtless and wearing black shorts with red stripes and white tennis shoes. The revolver was lying on the front porch next to a post, then later seized as evidence.
Corsbie was sentenced in January 2004 to 70 months in prison for a second-degree robbery conviction in Jackson County, court records show. He was divorced from one wife in January 2011, and a second wife filed for a restraining order against him in March, records show. She filed for divorce a week later, records show.
Neighbors gave varying accounts of the incident, some saying they heard one shot, others at least two shots.
Some neighbors described a woman, and possibly a man, on a front lawn next-door to the house after the shooting.
"I just saw the lady crying on the sidewalk, freaking out," said Paris Ruff, a 13-year-old who lives in the area.
Hadali Lua, a 16-year-old who lives across the street, said, "I was watching TV and I heard a firecracker sound." Within minutes, Jackson County sheriff's deputies had swarmed the area, he said.
Deputies blocked the street in both directions while they investigated the shooting.
Both Lua and neighbor James Anderson, 37, said they saw an older man who was not handcuffed get into a deputy's car. Anderson said a deputy told the man, "You're not under arrest; just get in the back."
Desiree Mullin, a 26-year-old mother of two, said she was bringing her children home from day care when she saw deputies surrounding her neighbor's house.
She said she has been worried about an increase in gang activity in the area during the last six months.
"This neighborhood has taken a turn for the worse," she said.
Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476, or email email@example.com.