Vancouver park closed after reported melee

Police say hundreds of people partying in Frenchman's Bar Park

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian Breaking News Reporter and Patty Hastings, Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith



Reports of gunshots and a wounded person at a large party at Frenchman’s Bar Park prompted heavy police response and closed the park Thursday night.

Officers weren’t able to find evidence to substantiate the reports, but say they are looking into the purported altercation.

Police, along with fire personnel, responded to a 7:35 p.m. 911 call of a shooting at the park where several hundred people had gathered for a party, said Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp.

At the time, she said, “there was no evidence of an assault or of a shooting.” Although several people called 911 about the altercation, police couldn’t find anyone in the park who would cooperate or who had seen it firsthand.

There were “a lot of people down there, several hundred people, drinking and having a big party,” Kapp said. The people police interviewed, most in their late teens and early 20s, had heard what sounded like gunshots.

An unconfirmed report said that after someone was knocked out in the reported fight, somebody pulled what looked like a gun out of a backpack and shot four times into the air, causing people to scatter and flee the park.

Officers started reviewing a video of an apparent fight at Frenchman’s Bar Park that was posted on YouTube.

Police performed some traffic stops and arrested one driver for suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicants. Other people were given citations for having alcohol in the park.

Officers cleared the park and locked the gates, Kapp said.

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