Driver in Tuesday's drive-by shooting in custody

Medford police have arrested a 16-year-old boy suspected of being behind the wheel during a gang-related drive-by shooting on Tuesday.

Detectives from the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement — MADGE — team arrested the teen at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday at his home in the 1000 block of West 12th Street after questioning him. Police have also recovered a 2006 black Toyota Tundra they believe he and other suspected Sureño gang members sped away in after firing the shots.

The 16-year-old is being held at the Jackson County Juvenile Detention Center without bail on charges of attempted first-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon, and reckless endangerment, though he did not pull the trigger.

"It's because he was in the vehicle. He actively participated in the event," said Lt. Mike Budreau. "Certainly the driver had a significant role."

The Mail Tribune is not releasing the teen's name.

The shooting took place at about 8:40 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection of Benson Street and Dakota Avenue in west Medford. Three shots rang out before witnesses reported seeing a vehicle speed away. Police found bullet casings at the scene.

"We've pretty much confirmed that nobody was struck," Budreau said.

Police were on scene until 3 a.m., questioning potential witnesses and searching the neighborhood.

Two other males in their mid to late teens, including the alleged shooter, are still being pursued, investigators said. Police declined to comment on their identities. Police also have questioned and released another 18-year-old they believed to be involved in the shooting.

Authorities believe this shooting is another incident related to the ongoing conflict between the Sureño and Norteño gangs, but are uncertain of specifics at this time. Additional drive-by shooting attempts were reported in February and March in the same neighborhood.

"We do think it's gang-related, but as far as the specific motive, we're not commenting on that," Budreau said. "We're actually still trying to figure that out."

— Ryan Pfeil

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