Man, 18, sentenced in drive-by shooting

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

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An 18-year-old man was sentenced Thursday in Clark County Superior Court to 366 days in prison for a Dec. 15 drive-by shooting in an apartment complex parking lot in Hazel Dell.

Aaron J. York of Vancouver pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and possession of cocaine as part of a plea agreement negotiated by York’s attorney, Diane Grecco, and Senior Deputy Prosecutor Kasey Vu. In exchange, Vu dropped charges of drive-by shooting, unlawful discharging of a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm, obstructing a public servant, third-degree theft and reckless endangerment.

A Clark County sheriff’s deputy heard several gunshots at about 11 p.m. Dec. 15 after completing a traffic stop at the corner of Northeast Sixth Avenue and 99th Street. A passenger jumped out of the stopped vehicle, screaming that he saw a man firing a gun in the parking lot of the Parklane Apartments, 10223 N.E. Notchlog Drive, according to a court affidavit.

No injuries were reported.

This is what happened next, according to court records: The deputy drove to the apartment complex and saw a Chrysler PT Cruiser heading toward him. He pulled over the vehicle. Inside were York and a woman, who was not identified in court documents. The woman told the deputy that she and York were at a friend’s house when York asked for a ride to Hazel Dell. She said she drove him to the apartment complex and parked.

“I’ll be right back,” he told her. While waiting for him, she heard several gunshots. York then returned to the vehicle with a black handgun and sat down in the passenger seat.

“Drive,” he said.

“What the (expletive) did you just do?” she asked. “Did you kill him?”

“Don’t ask me anything; just drive,” he replied.

When the deputy pulled them over, she said, he hid the gun in the vehicle’s glove box.

Court documents and police did not reveal a suspected motive for the shooting or whether a particular person was targeted.

Sheriff’s investigators found five spent 10-millimeter shell casings in the apartment complex’s parking lot.