Shooting leaves Kerby man dead; investigation continues
KERBY — A Friday afternoon shooting involving two men with handguns has left one man dead in Josephine County.
Josephine County sheriff's deputies were notified of a shooting shortly after 4 p.m. Friday. Emergency medical crews were called, but deputies had pronounced Kenneth Ray Vaugh, 60, dead before medical help arrived.
Sheriff's detectives questioned witnesses and learned Vaugh had gone to the home of Donald Easley in the 23000 block of Redwood Highway, where the two men began to argue. According to statements, both men armed themselves with handguns, which led to one being shot. No other injuries were reported.
Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson did not comment on what caused the disagreement between the two men.
Easley, 60, has not been charged with a crime, Gilbertson said.
"We are not calling this a murder yet," Gilbertson said. "There is still a lot of investigating to be done."
The district medical examiner is scheduled to perform an autopsy next week.
A homicide such as this is draining on the sheriff's department. The agency has been hard hit by budget cuts in recent years. The department does not have the funds to staff patrols 24 hours per day.
"I takes our resources away from patrols and other things when we have big cases," Gilbertson said. "It's tough to conduct large scale investigations with such limited resources, but we do our best."
The department hopes to gain back some of what it lost in the coming months with a slight increase in funds appearing later this year.
Two new deputies have graduated from the police academy, which will help the agency provide extended patrol coverage by early 2010, Gilbertson said.
The Josephine County Jail will increase its housing space for inmates from 105 to 140 starting Dec. 1.
Also, early next year the department will increase its patrols to 20 hours per day, up from the current 12-hour coverage.
The investigators are asking for anyone with information to call 474-5160.
Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.