Man Randomly Shooting Rifle in Grants Pass Park Arrested

On Monday, April 4th, 2022, at 8:45 am, a resident across the Rogue River from Riverside Park called 911 to report a male along the riverbank shooting a rifle. The man with the firearm was yelling at someone; however, no other people were seen in that area of Riverside Park.

While on the phone with a witness, the 911 dispatcher could hear gunfire over the phone. Police officers converged on Riverside Park, coordinating their response to ensure a perimeter of safety was established. Police formed two contact teams of officers, and a coordinated approach was conducted.

Additional police officers provided real-time updates from their vantage point on the opposite side of the Rogue River. Officers evacuated occupied tents as they continued searching for the gunman. The suspect was located and contacted by police near the Vista Street boat ramp, and when confronted by police, the gunman, later identified as 38-year-old Tyler Watsabaugh surrendered.

Watsabaugh was taken into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail. Officers were able to confirm that Watsabaugh fired at least three shots. Watsabaugh is charged with three counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon and three counts of Disorderly Conduct. Nobody was injured during the incident at the park, despite it being occupied by citizens and park employees. This incident appears to be random, and there is no evidence of a continued threat of harm to the public.

Courtesy of GPPD