VPD officer recovering; suspect appears in court

No charges yet for second man apprehended

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A vigil to honor wounded police officer Dustin Goudschaal will begin at 8 p.m. today at the front lawn of PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, 400 N.E. Mother Joseph Place.

Police officer in critical condition after shooting

Balloons sit on the sidewalk near the location of a shooting that injured a Vancouver police officer Monday.

A vigil to honor wounded police officer Dustin Goudschaal will begin at 8 p.m. today at the front lawn of PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, 400 N.E. Mother Joseph Place.

Police officer in critical condition after shooting

A Vancouver man with apparent white supremacist beliefs and a violent criminal history appeared in court Tuesday, accused of shooting Vancouver motorcycle patrol Officer Dustin Goudschaal, 32. Goudschaal remains hospitalized and had improved to stable condition Tuesday morning, police said.

His alleged assailant, James Todd Sapp, 47, appeared in Clark County Superior Court Tuesday morning on suspicion of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm. Court records show that Goudschaal has identified Sapp as the shooter. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office has previously identified Sapp as an admitted member of the Aryan Brotherhood. He goes by the nickname “Cotton,” possibly a reference to his white supremacist sentiments, according to court records.

Prosecuting Attorney Tony Golik appeared in court Tuesday morning to make the case for the charges against Sapp. Golik appears in court rarely; he personally tries one case per year.

Judge Scott Collier set Sapp’s bail at $10 million and appointed attorney Matthew Hoff to defend him. Sapp is to be arraigned July 8.

Goudschaal, an officer with the Vancouver traffic unit, was shot several times after he stopped a black Ram truck near Northeast 162nd Avenue and 34th Street at about 11:30 a.m. Monday. A dispatcher told the officer that the vehicle’s license plates belonged to a stolen vehicle.

After Goudschaal didn’t respond to a dispatcher, passing motorist James Bridger Jr. came on the radio and said the officer had been shot. Another motorist, Earlene “Sam” Anderson, also stopped, rendering first aid by wrapping her scarf around a gunshot wound to Goudschaal’s neck, according to court records.

The officer was shot seven times, according to court records. His ballistic vest apparently saved his life.

After the shooting, Sapp and a passenger, Timothy Plantenberg, allegedly drove from the scene in the Ram truck, police said. The truck crashed into a tree about 14 blocks west, where 34th Street dead-ends at Northeast 148th Avenue. A black handgun was found under the driver’s side floorboard inside the truck. The truck was registered to Sapp’s wife, but its plates had been stolen from a silver Jeep Cherokee, court records say.

Truck stolen

After crashing into the tree, Sapp allegedly stole a gold Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck from an 88-year-old bystander, Donald Lowry. Lowry told officers that he walks with a cane and carries his keys in his mouth as he walks. Sapp allegedly pushed him, grabbed the keys from his mouth, hopped into the pickup and took off.

Sapp had crashed Lowry’s pickup when he was taken into custody, according to court records.

With Sapp in custody, police from multiple agencies, including a SWAT team, swarmed the area, searching houses and yards for Plantenberg. He was caught about two hours later.

Plantenberg said he and Sapp were driving in Sapp’s truck when the officer stopped them. As the officer approached the vehicle, Sapp pulled a gun from between his legs and fired multiple shots at the officer, Plantenberg allegedly told police. As Sapp drove away, the officer shot back at their truck.

Plantenberg said he grabbed the steering wheel to make Sapp crash, so he could get out of the truck, according to court records. When he left the vehicle, he said Sapp shot at him.

Plantenberg has not been charged with any crimes, but the Regional Major Crimes Team is continuing the investigation into the incident. Investigators said Tuesday that they’re seeking assistance from the public in identifying the victim of another attempted carjacking that occurred Monday in or near the 14500 block of Northeast 31st Street near Diamond Park.

Six prior felonies

Sapp already has several felony convictions, the oldest of which dates back to 1988 in Oldham County, Ky., according to court records.

Court records show Clark County deputies started investigating Sapp, who then lived in Ridgefield, on April 27, 2010, after he reportedly choked a 12-year-old neighbor who wanted to talk about Sapp’s dogs having killed his chickens. A relative of the 12-year-old was punched in the face later that day after going to talk to Sapp about the incident. During the dispute, Sapp made racially motivated comments to both victims, whose names are of Latino origin, the court documents say.

On June 4, 2010, the sheriff’s office served a search warrant on Sapp’s home and found an unused Remington shotgun shell in a room with “a large number of dolls.” Sapp’s wife told police her husband collected the dolls. Police found additional ammunition in the home and a garage where Sapp said he was working on a car, which led to federal weapons charges.

Court documents also say Sapp told staff at the Clark County Jail in 2008 that he did not want to room with anyone “of color.” He reportedly told Gresham, Ore., police in 2005 that he was an active member of the Aryan Brotherhood and kept in touch with his “brothers” behind bars.

He refused to give a home address to authorities, but court records from his last criminal case in March indicate he lived in Vancouver as of that date. In that case, he’s accused of attempting to elude police and methamphetamine possession.