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Grants Pass resident, 24, was found dead in his car after a lengthy standoff with police

Man kills himself after police chase

A Grants Pass man is dead after shooting himself in his car following a police chase Tuesday on Savage Creek Road that led into Josephine County.

At around 3:40 p.m., Oregon State Police trooper Jeff Allison spotted a Volvo believed to be carrying Beau Childers, 24, on Highway 99 near the Savage Rapids Dam. Childers was wanted for questioning by Rogue River police concerning a domestic violence incident that happened in that city. Childers sped away when the trooper attempted to pull him over, OSP Capt. Kurt Barthel said.

Childers soon pulled off the highway and led Allison on a chase along Savage Creek Road. After about four miles, Childers stopped his car on the dirt road and refused the trooper's orders to get out of his vehicle. At some point during the chase, trooper Allison had seen Childers brandish a rifle. After Childers stopped, Allison left his patrol car and took cover with his shotgun, Barthel said.

More OPS troopers were called to the scene, along with Jackson County sheriff's deputies. They surrounded Childers' car. An OSP hostage negotiator responded to the scene when it became apparent that Childers was not going to surrender quickly, Barthel said.

An OSP sniper took a position on a hill along the road as the negotiator dealt with Childers. this time, Childers had crouched down out of view. The sniper saw that Childers was lying down in the front seat, which gave the troopers time to smash out the Volvo's rear window and throw in a can of tear gas, Barthel said.

— When he did not respond to the tear gas, police approached the car and found Childers lying on his side clutching the rifle to his chest. Although the investigation is continuing, Barthel said he believes that Childers had shot himself in the head with what he described as a small-caliber rifle.

With a small-caliber rifle, you wouldn't hear it with all the noise going on, Barthel said.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4459, or e-mail Man kills himself after police chase"cconrad@mailtribune.com.