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Shootout follows car chase, crash in Medford

Gunfire erupted in west Medford early Thursday after a car chase ended in a crash and a shootout in the street. One man has been arrested and the investigation continues.

Residents along Jeanette Avenue reported seeing someone in an unknown make and model car chasing and ramming a Mustang just after midnight. Shots were fired, with at least one bullet striking a home in the area, Medford police Lt. Tim Doney said.

Police arrived and found the abandoned Mustang, which had been struck by at least one bullet, crashed into a parked car at the corner of Jeanette Avenue and Eighth Street.

Manuel Gonzalez Castro, 25, had fled the Mustang and retreated to his home in the 1700 block of Meadows Lane. Officers arrested him there an hour after the incident.

"Apparently, the other driver had hit Castro's car and pushed it into the parked car," Doney said. "Then there was more gunfire after the crash."

Detectives spent the morning hours collecting several shell casings from the street. It is unknown who was shooting at whom at this point, Doney said.

One man in the pursuing car was contacted Thursday afternoon at his home in the 700 block of North Riverside Avenue. His identity is being withheld until the investigation is completed.

"Right now we're trying to wade through some conflicting stories," Doney said. "Those involved are being somewhat less than forthcoming."

The shootout allegedly started just before midnight at a home in the 200 block of Chestnut Street. Castro was there drinking with some friends when the suspects showed up for a fight, Doney said.

The people involved took it outside, which is where the first shots were fired. It is not known who instigated the exchange, Doney said.

"There were gunshots throughout this demolition derby, so to speak," Doney said.

Detectives are still searching for two additional suspects, one from each car.

"We are looking to charge a suspect or suspects with at least attempted assault, maybe something more serious," Doney said.

Castro was lodged in the Jackson County Jail on charges of possession of methamphetamine and a probation violation. He was held late Thursday without bail.

In addition, officers arrested Sara McNamer, 19, at the house where Castro was arrested. She was charged with possession of methamphetamine and remained lodged in jail late Thursday on $5,000 bail.

Police do not believe she was involved in the shootout.

"Some people are just in the wrong place at the wrong time," Doney said.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471, or e-mail cconrad@mailtribune.com.