Medford standoff resolved quietly

An allegedly armed and suicidal man had Medford police scrambling late Sunday afternoon — cordoning off streets, evacuating neighbors and positioning snipers with high-powered rifles.

The two-hour-long standoff ended just after 7 p.m. when Thomas Flores, 33, of the 2200 block of College Way, was taken into protective custody after being subdued by police. Flores was transported to an area hospital for treatment and evaluation. Disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges are pending, said Medford police Lt. Brett Johnson.

At the scene, Johnson said police had received a 9-1-1 call that a "suicidal male with a weapon" was in the residence. Johnson declined to state who had made the call. No hostages were in the residence at the time.

Flores "gave up without any resistance," and would likely not be charged, he said.

"He was cooperative with officers," said Johnson. "He just didn't want to come out."

In a later press release, Johnson stated initial police information included threats by Flores "to engage the officers with firearms."

Flores initially refused to be taken into protective custory, stepping in and out of his residence while speaking on the telephone with police negotiators. When Flores finally agreed to come outside, he "refused to comply with directions and was subdued utilizing a Taser," Johnson said in the release.

No gun was found in the residence, but a hoster and ammunition were found, Johnson said.

Brent M. Gordon, 32, was taking his dog for a walk when heavily armed police officers arrived and began cordoning off streets in the east Medford neighborhood.

"It started out with a couple cop cars and orange cones blocking the streets," Gordon said. "Then there were two ambulances, Central Point cops, Medford cops and SWAT."

Gordon said he became concerned and phoned a friend who lives near Flores.

"She said she has a sniper in the back yard and cops in her front yard," Gordon said. "They look like they're gearing up with serious looks on their faces."

For more than two hours, under hot summer skies, about 20 neighbors clustered in shady spots near the operation's command station at the intersection of College Way and North Keene Way Drive.

One woman set out a large container of water. Others brought out chairs. Several spoke of a children's birthday party happening just down the street.

Putting down tack strips, ordering evacuations, creating vehicle barricades and positioning officers around Flores' home were all standard procedures, and designed to protect Flores, other citizens and the responding officers, Johnson said at the scene.

"Every precaution was made to keep (Flores) contained," he said.

Julie Miller came upon the incident as she was dropping off a family member in the area. Miller expressed relief at the peaceful outcome.

"I'm glad it ended without incident," Miller said. "I was saying many prayers for everybody's safety, including the gentleman."

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 776-4497 or e-mail

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