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State police: Grants Pass shooter tried to run victim off the road

GRANTS PASS — Court documents filed in the case of a man charged with the attempted murder Tuesday of an Eagle Point resident say the suspect tried to run the victim's vehicle off the road prior to the shooting.

Stephen Bryce Murphy was arraigned Friday in Josephine County Circuit Court on charges of attempted murder, first-degree assault, unlawful use of a firearm, reckless driving, reckless endangering and four counts of second-degree criminal mischief. Murphy is charged with shooting Peter A. Harrod, 23, on Riverbanks Road outside Grants Pass. Oregon State Police arrested Murphy about 6 p.m. Thursday after major crimes detectives and members of the OSP SWAT team served a search warrant at a residence near the crime scene. 

According to a probable cause affidavit filed by an OSP detective, Murphy had been pursuing Harrod and three others down the highway at high speeds, trying to force them off the road. As the vehicles neared milepost 21, the affidavit says, Murphy produced a handgun and fired a single shot into the other vehicle's right front passenger door, striking Harrod in his back, the affidavit says.

The vehicle's other occupants drove Harrod to Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, where he underwent surgery, the affidavit says. Police reported Thursday that Harrod was listed in "serious but stable" condition. Asante spokesperson Lauren Van Sickle said Friday she didn't have any more recent information about Harrod's condition. Police haven't released any motive for the shooting.

Murphy, who listed his occupation as glass-blower in court documents, has no prior felony convictions in Oregon, records show. He's being held in the Josephine County Jail without bail. Both attempted murder and first-degree assault are Measure 11 crimes, carrying minimum sentences of 90 months in prison.

Reach reporter Thomas Moriarty at 541-776-4471, or by email at tmoriarty@mailtribune.com. Follow him at @ThomasDMoriarty.

Stephen Bryce Murphy