Sheriff: Deputies kill armed man during eviction

CENTRAL POINT — Two Jackson County deputies were serving an eviction order on an Ashland man Tuesday when he came out of his bedroom pointing a shotgun at them, and they shot and killed him, the sheriff said Wednesday.

Sheriff Mike Winters told reporters at a Wednesday news conference that both deputies fired a total of four times and 73-year-old Earl Carlson Harris was hit at least twice. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

Winters said it appears the deputy's decision to fire was correct, but the case remains under investigation by state police and others. An autopsy was to be done.

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Andrea Carlson said four SWAT team members were serving the eviction order, and a total of seven to 10 deputies were on scene.

Winters said when deputies talked to Harris about foreclosure on a previous occasion, he was armed.

Winters added that a search of the house turned up several guns, as well as grenades, which a bomb squad disposed of. Harris also flew the American flag upside down, apparently signaling anti-government views.

The Mail Tribune reported Harris had waged a lengthy foreclosure court battle and was ordered in May to be removed by sheriff's deputies. He had posted his property with “No Trespassing” signs specifically warning police to keep out. Court documents showed Harris represented himself in a 2012 federal lawsuit challenging the eviction, arguing the judge was biased and the state had no jurisdiction.

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