Standoff ends peacefully when man leaves home

Medford police cordoned off streets, evacuated homes and positioned snipers with high-powered rifles Sunday evening after receiving a call about an allegedly armed and suicidal man.

A standoff that lasted more than two hours ended peacefully just after 7 p.m. when Thomas Flores, 33, of the 2200 block of College Way “gave up without any resistance,” said Medford police Lt. Brett Johnson.

Johnson said police had received a call that a "suicidal male with a weapon" was in the residence. He declined to say who made the call. Flores made no threats to others, Johnson said.

For more than two hours, under hot summer skies, about 20 neighbors clustered in shady spots near a police 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.

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

Johnson said Flores had remained in communication via telephone with police throughout the incident. He was taken to an area hospital for an evaluation after he left the home. Johnson didn’t expect any charges to be filed against Flores at this time, he said.

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

- Sanne Specht

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