On Sunday, May 14, 2023, at 8:00 PM, the Grants Pass Police Department received several 911 calls from people inside Riverside Park reporting a shooting had just occurred. Additionally, that a male subject was shot, and the potential suspect fled the park in a blue car.
Police units arrived within two minutes of the initial 911 call and located a man with an apparent gunshot wound.
Despite lifesaving efforts by first responders, the victim was determined to be deceased by paramedics from American Medical Response and Grants Pass Fire/Rescue.
Police immediately broadcast the description of the suspect vehicle to partner law enforcement agencies. A Josephine County Sheriff’s Sergeant, who was looking for the vehicle on the north end of Grants Pass, located the suspect vehicle. With help from an Oregon State Trooper, they safely detained the driver without incident.
The driver was identified as 34-year-old Charles J. Smith. Smith was lodged into the Josephine County Jail for Murder 2 and Unlawful Use of a Weapon.
The decedent’s identity will not be released as detectives are yet to notify his next of kin.
Detectives from the Grants Pass Police Department responded to Riverside Park and took over the investigation. Based on preliminary information, it is believed both the decedent and Smith were utilizing Riverside Park to rest overnight.
A criminal complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and a suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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