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MailTribune.com
  • Merlin man arrested after standoff

  • A 68-year-old Merlin man is lodged in the Josephine County Jail after allegedly shooting a man in the hand and barricading himself in a Merlin home for seven hours Wednesday, Oregon State Police reported.
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  • A 68-year-old Merlin man is lodged in the Josephine County Jail after allegedly shooting a man in the hand and barricading himself in a Merlin home for seven hours Wednesday, Oregon State Police reported.
    Stephen Lester Powers, 68, is held on charges of second-degree assault, being a felon in possession of a weapon, unlawful use of a weapon, pointing a firearm at another, menacing, recklessly endangering, and negligently wounding another.
    Oregon State Police first responded to a call of a man being shot at 5 p.m. Wednesday at a four-plex apartment building at 111 Peach St., Merlin.
    The victim, whose name was not released, had a gunshot wound to the hand. He was taken to Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, where he was treated and released, police said.
    When troopers arrived at the apartment, Powers stayed inside and refused to comply as officers spoke with him on the phone. Because he reportedly had a gun, an OSP SWAT team was called.
    Powers stayed in his home until just after 11 p.m. when he finally surrendered. Police obtained a search warrant for his apartment and found a handgun. It's believed to have been the weapon used in the shooting, officials said.
    What prompted the incident is not yet known.
    "We're still looking into that part of it. There's sort of some mixed information whether it was accidental or intentional," said Lt. Gregg Hastings, OSP spokesman.
    In searching the apartment, police also found a possible explosive device and had to call a bomb technician, who determined the object was not explosive.
    The investigation is continuing.
    — Ryan Pfeil
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