Victim and suspect identified in Medford murder
Police say Brian Matthew Smith, 28, has been arrested on suspicion of murdering the manager of the Sis-Q Motel in Medford on Friday afternoon.
Along with murder, Smith is also accused of committing first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and second-degree burglary. He is being held in the Jackson County Jail without bail. Police had yet to disclose his city of residence.
The homicide victim is Bansi Sahu, 60, of Medford, manager of the motel, according to the the Medford Police Department.
Detectives are continuing to investigate the case, which has multiple crime scenes.
The fatal assault against Sahu occurred while Smith is alleged to have been robbing the motel, which is at 722 S. Riverside Ave.
“The suspect forced his way into the manager's office, crawled under the plexi-glass partition and stole money from the register,” Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau explained in a written statement. “During the robbery, the suspect assaulted the manager and forced his way into the manager's living quarters, where he continued to assault the manager and his wife.”
The first officer arrived at the motel and discovered the suspect. The suspect fled, and the officer pursued him. Both parties were on foot.
“As she made her way to the front desk to speak with the manager, the suspect emerged from the office area covered in blood, and fled on foot, ” Budreau stated. “The officer caught the suspect after a foot chase, and utilized a taser to take him into custody.”
When officers went back to the manager's office, they found the manager dead.
Budreau said Sahu’s wife was treated at the scene for non-life threatening injuries.
Smith was first reported for disorderly behavior at 12:15 p.m., Friday. He was at the Chevron Gas Station, at 2232 Biddle Road, where he was said to have attempted to steal cigarettes and physically harass a Chevron employee before driving away in a black Mazda four-door vehicle.
At that point, Smith “was with a female, whom we have identified,” Budreau said.
Reports of the same vehicle being involved in two reckless driving episodes came to authorities just before 12:25 p.m., Friday.
One caller reported the vehicle had driven into some bushes in the alley near Lincoln and 10th streets. The vehicle drove away in a reckless manner and struck a curb near 10th and Hamilton streets.
By that time, only Smith is thought to have been in the vehicle.
The same vehicle was reported to have been spotted in downtown Medford, with a heavily damaged wheel. Police found it disabled on Earhart Street, near Riverside Avenue.
Then came a report that the suspect had been seen entering a room at the Sis-Q Motel, where the alleged murder-robbery occurred.
Smith was in police custody as of 1:14 p.m., Friday, Budreau said.