Vancouver man killed by police was Iraq war veteran

Police also release names of three officers involved in Tuesday shooting

By Bob Albrecht, Columbian Staff Reporter

Published:

Updated: September 8, 2010, 5:00 PM

 
photoThis photo of Nikkolas W. Lookabill, 22, of Vancouver was posted on his MySpace page.

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A 22-year-old Vancouver man killed by police early Tuesday morning had returned earlier this year from deployment in Iraq, according to the Oregon Army National Guard.

Nikkolas W. Lookabill, a specialist with the Army National Guard, deployed to Iraq for 12 months in May 2009 with the 41st infantry brigade combat team, headquartered in Tigard, Ore., said Capt. Stephen Bomar, spokesman for the National Guard.

In August, Lookabill attended a reintegration drill with the National Guard. The event highlighted benefits and programs available for returning veterans. Lookabill joined the National Guard in 2008.

Bomar said a casualty assistance officer will soon visit Lookabill’s family.

“He is a part of the Oregon Army National Guard, and right now, our priority is taking care of his family,” Bomar said. School officials said Lookabill attended Washougal High School until 2005, when he transferred to the Vancouver School District.

Guard officials confirmed Lookabill’s military status Wednesday, shortly after the his identity was released by the Vancouver Police Department.

Also Wednesday, Vancouver police released the names of the three officers who shot and killed Lookabill, who was described as armed and threatening, early Tuesday morning near the 3000 block of Fruit Valley Road, just north of West Fourth Plain Boulevard.

The officers involved were Sgt. John Schultz, 41, and officers Frank Gomez, 32, and Gerardo Gutierrez, 38.

The press release included no new details of the shooting. It remains unknown how many shots were fired.

According to previous reports, police were dispatched to reports of a disturbance at 3:35 a.m. Tuesday. A man was reportedly walking in the neighborhood, armed with a handgun.

When police arrived, they said, they directed the man to drop his weapon. He refused. The officers then fired on the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Nearby residents say they heard between six and 14 shots fired.

The officers weren’t injured.

The three officers have been placed on paid administrative leave, which was termed “standard protocol for this type of incident” in the press release.

Schultz has worked in the department for eight years. He has worked in the Sex Offender Tracking Unit as a detective. He worked previously with the Maui Police Department in Hawaii for seven years.

Gomez has been with the department for four years, receiving a Medal of Distinction in 2008. He spent two years as a deputy with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

Gutierrez has been with the Vancouver Police Department for two years. He previously worked for about 11 years at the Los Angeles Police Department.

“They have excellent work experience, exemplary records,” said Kim Kapp, a police spokeswoman.

The Clark County Regional Crimes Team, which is made up of detectives from the sheriff’s office and the police department, is investigating, according to the release. Their findings will be forwarded to the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office to determine whether the shooting was justified and lawful, which is standard procedure following officer-involved shootings.

Once a review has been completed by the prosecutor’s office, the police department will conduct an “administrative and critical incident” evaluation, according to the release.

Staff writer Marissa Harshman contributed to this report.