Grants Pass man charged in gun incident set for Medford court

A federal court hearing has been set for today in Medford to determine if a 26-year-old man charged in an Oct. 7 gun incident at Grants Pass High School is a threat to society and should therefore be held pending trial.

The 3 p.m. hearing, in U.S. District Court in Medford, is set to determine if Raphael E. Amoroso is a threat or flight risk and what, if any, conditions should be set if he is released pending trial. He is being held without bail at the Josephine County Jail.

On Monday, Amoroso made an initial appearance in federal court, on charges of having a gun on school grounds and being a user of marijuana who was in possession of a gun.

An intoxicated Amoroso was found with a loaded handgun in the glove compartment of his car shortly after leaving a school parking lot about two hours after a Grants Pass home football game against North Medford High School. He also was found with marijuana and hashish.

According to a Grants Pass police report, Amoroso told an officer he was at the school to look at a bicycle rack cover he had helped construct while a student there in the early 2000s.

He also told police he had smoked marijuana about an hour earlier. His alcohol level was .11 percent, above the .08 percent legal limit.

In his car that night, police found a book about a shooting at an athletic event.

Five days later, police found at his home and in his truck about a pound of gunpowder, fuse-detonation cord and four semi-automatic rifles.

Amoroso is self-employed, according to court filings. He does mechanical and construction work, according to police. His online posting at the Internet website Facebook shows him with a wrench in hand, working on what looks like a vehicle motor. The site also lists his activities and interests as shooting, mountain biking and politics.

Amoroso initially was charged in Josephine County Circuit Court with possession of a destructive device or parts, but that charge and related gun and drug charges have been dismissed at the request of the Josephine County District Attorney's Office, because the U.S. Attorney's Office is pursuing federal charges.

Amoroso remains charged in Josephine County with DUII in the Oct. 7 incident.

Shaun Hall, a reporter for the Grants Pass Daily Courier, can be reached at 541-474-3813 or

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