Vancouver men accused in gang shooting plead not guilty

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

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Two Vancouver men allegedly involved in a gang shooting pleaded not guilty Wednesday to assault and attempted murder charges.

Zachery A. Flores, 16, was arraigned on a second-degree attempted murder charge. Erick D. Butler, 20, was arraigned on first-degree assault and two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Trial was set for June 27 for Butler and July 18 for Flores.

Police responded on the evening of May 17 to reports of shots fired in the 3700 block of East 18th Street in central Vancouver.

The shooting was the result of a gang confrontation in which two men — identified in court documents as Flores and Butler — displayed handguns, according to those documents. Flores allegedly fired several shots toward Butler; he reportedly said Butler pointed a gun at him first.

None of the shots hit Butler. According to court documents, Butler then chased Flores with a gun in hand. He later told investigators that, “if he had the chance, he would have killed the shooter,” according to court documents.

A third unidentified man in his early 40s was struck by one of the shots and was transported to Southwest Washington Medical Center with injuries that weren’t believed to be life-threatening, police said. He was subsequently released.

Police found several spent shell casings in the area of the shooting, according to court documents.

Flores and Butler are being held in the Clark County Jail.