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Medford police: Man killed in shooting on Iowa Street

Police confirmed Saturday that a west Medford man has died of a gunshot wound.

Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said officers responded quickly after shots were reportedly fired at 4:56 p.m. at 208 Iowa St.

"We located a male victim who was deceased in an outdoor scene behind a residence down the street," Budreau said.

Budreau said the victim's name would be released after next of kin are notified. He said detectives are talking to witnesses and the Oregon State Police crime lab is looking at the scene. Budreau couldn't release suspect information because witness reports had not been verified.

By 5 p.m., police had closed Iowa Street between Narregan and Cedar streets. Manuel Navarro, who lives down the street from the crime scene near the corner of Clark and Narregan, said he witnessed the shooting suspects flee. Navarro said he heard the "pop" of a gunshot and saw two Caucasian males flee in a white Honda coupe.

Navarro said he saw the Honda parked haphazardly outside the driveway, then pull away, then stop at Iowa and Narregan. He said the driver appeared confused about which way to go before turning right on Narregan and left on Clark. Moments after the suspects fled, neighbors near the residence yelled to call an ambulance.

Navarro was on break before returning to work at Si Casa Flores when crime scene tape prevented him from taking his vehicle to work.

"It happened really fast," Navarro said. "Within five minutes, everyone was here."

Bob Smith lives at the other end of the intersection of Narregan and Iowa. He said he didn't know the victim well, but had made small talk with him Friday at the Thrifty Nifty market.

"I just talked to him yesterday at the store," Smith said.

"He seemed to keep to himself all the time," Rojelio Navarro, brother of Manuel Navarro, said.

Margaret Lowe, who lives with Smith, expressed frustration at rampant crime in the neighborhood. She said she doesn't feel comfortable letting her grandchildren play outside.

"It's just horrible," Lowe said. "I just don't know what to do anymore."

Budreau said the case was under investigation and couldn't confirm whether drugs were involved in the shooting, but multiple neighbors referred to the victim's home as a "heroin house." 

Rojelio Navarro said that at least five times a week, strangers would show up, go inside for approximately 10 minutes and pull away. 

"I can only see this going downhill if we don't crack down on this," he said.

Jeff Peterson expressed anger at the scene.

"This would be the fourth shooting in a f---ing six months for the block," Peterson said. "I'm sick of it."

—Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.