Medford police probe shooting near restaurant

An argument led to gunfire early Friday morning outside a west Medford Mexican restaurant and Medford police continue to work to unravel what happened.

After a day spent trying to identify and interview witnesses and suspects, however, investigators said that details remained sketchy.

At about 3 a.m. Friday, police responded to reports of shots fired in the parking lot outside the Muchas Gracias restaurant at 2305 W. Main St., Medford police Lt. Bob Hansen said.

An argument had broken out among people in the lot thought to be customers of the restaurant. A Hispanic man reportedly got a gun out of the trunk of a white sedan and fired at least three shots, Hansen said.

Reports indicated the shots were fired at a person the gunman and his friends had been arguing with, but there were other people in the area, Hansen said.

The shots hit the side of the building, but didn't cause significant damage.

Police don't think the restaurant was targeted or its employees were involved.

Some witnesses described the gun as an assault rifle, while others said it was a handgun, Hansen said. Initial examination of the bullets found in the wall and damage to the building indicate the weapon likely was a handgun, he said.

The unidentified shooter got into the back seat of the white car and left. The vehicle was last seen driving north away from the shopping center where the 24-hour restaurant is located, Hansen said.

Witnesses told police the car also had a black man and two women inside.

Initial reports indicated that one person was quarrelling with the group in the car, but a crowd had gathered and multiple people were outside when the shots were fired, Hansen said.

"We're getting conflicting information on what happened," he said.

Police said there is no indication that the altercation was gang related. Investigators will continue to piece together information to determine what the conflict was about.

"We're not getting a lot of information on the suspect," Hansen said.

Police ask anyone with information on the identity or location of the suspect to call the detective assigned to the case at 541-774-2232.

Reach reporter Anita Burke at 541-776-4485, or e-mail

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