A Medford woman died Sunday night after a man attacked and stabbed her multiple times outside her apartment and fled, police reported.
Maria Guadelupe Rodriguez, 38, of the 1900 block of Table Rock Road, was pronounced dead from her injuries at the scene. Medford police responded to emergency calls at the apartment complex at 8:34 p.m. Sunday. Other apartment residents told police Rodriguez and a male had been arguing.
"The assault appeared to have started outside the victim's front door as the victim arrived home," said Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau.
The fight became physical, and both Rodriguez and the assailant fell to the ground during their scuffle, where Rodriguez was stabbed several times. The man threatened witnesses with the knife when they tried to intervene.
"He produced a knife and began waving it at one of the witnesses who was telling him to stop," Budreau said.
The suspect then fled, heading east from the apartment complex. Cindy McMurphy, who lives nearby, said she heard the commotion before calling 911.
"There was screaming," McMurphy said.
The assailant retreated shortly after, she said. Police reported that an onlooker ran inside to get a gun, but came back outside too late.
The attacker is still on the run. He is described as a Hispanic male in his mid-30s, about 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing around 180 pounds. He was last seen wearing a blue or turquoise shirt. Police were still looking for him Monday afternoon.
"We don't know who he is or where lives," Budreau said.
Witnesses told police they didn't know what the two were arguing about, as the conversation was in Spanish, Budreau said. Investigators do not think the homicide was random, and think Rodriguez and the assailant likely knew each other.
"We certainly think that this was a targeted attack, that the suspect most likely knew the victim," Budreau said. "We are still trying to determine what the issue was. I doubt this person came out of the blue and decided to do this."
McMurphy said Rodriguez was a kind person who worked two jobs and came over for barbecues at her home.
"She was a very nice, a good friend," McMurphy said. "She was just a nice lady. She was the kind of neighbor you would want."
McMurphy said Rodriguez did not mention any relationship concerns or fears for her life before the attack.
Police said Rodriguez lived alone at her apartment, adding she has an 18-year-old son who lives in Alaska and a daughter in Eugene, whose age was not available. Court records show Rodriguez did not have any criminal history in Jackson County.
"She appeared to be, for all intents and purposes, a normal working single female not engaged in criminal activity that we found," Budreau said.
The case remains under investigation by Jackson County's Major Assault/Death Investigation Unit. Anyone with additional information should call Medford police at 541-770-4783 and ask for Detective Jim Williams.
Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.