Police think drive-by shooting was gang related

Medford police are investigating a drive-by shooting suspected to be gang related that happened at about 11 p.m. Monday near South Medford High School, Lt. Tim Doney said.

A car with four teenage girls in it was driving west on Monroe Street near J Street when a tan or gold colored sedan, possibly a Chevy Capri, came up behind their car, then passed them. Someone leaned out of the passing car and fired several rounds with a small-caliber rifle. Seven bullets hit the car and windshield. No one inside was hit.

"They are pretty fortunate no one was hit," Doney said. "This could just as easily be a death investigation."

The girls drove home to a house in South Medford and a silver vehicle, possibly a Honda Accord, associated with the shooting car followed them home, Doney said.

The girls called police and the two suspect vehicles were gone from the area when officers arrived. However, investigators have some promising leads in the case, which they believe is related to other gang activity in recent months, including fights, stabbings and incidents of brandishing weapons, Doney said.

Medford police have stepped up patrols around the high school and is coordinating with the Medford School District to make sure students at all schools are safe, Doney said. The department has contacted all school resource officers in Jackson County to keep them informed.

Medford detectives and the department's gang and street drugs unit are working closely with Jackson County Sheriff's Department detectives who are investigating suspected gang-related fights and other activity in White City.

— Anita Burke

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