Suspect in shooting identified, remains at large

Gunman identified by police as Juventino Valencia-Mendoza, 45

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



A gunman was still at large Monday night after fleeing from the scene of a shooting and car crash that occurred earlier in the day near Northeast Andresen Road and 18th Street in Vancouver. Police believe the incident was a case of domestic violence.

Officers responded to a 911 call of shots fired at a vehicle near WinCo Foods about 1:45 p.m.

Investigators determined that someone in a small tan car fired multiple shots at a pickup on Northeast Andresen Road near 40th Street, said Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp.

The vehicles continued south on Andresen Road and eventually collided in the parking lot near Sherwin-Williams.

The crash pushed the car into a large utility pole in front of Napa Auto Parts, 1820 N.E. Andresen Road, Kapp said.

Two people in the car were injured in the crash and transported to a hospital. The car’s driver, whom police identified as the alleged shooter, fled on foot and hadn’t been found by police as of press time.

The three people in the pickup were not injured.

“I don’t have confirmation that anyone’s been shot at this point,” Kapp said.

Vancouver police late Monday identified Juventino Valencia-Mendoza, 45, as both the driver and the alleged shooter in the incident. In a press release, police described Valencia-Mendoza as a Hispanic male, 5 feet 6 inches, 160 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a tan hooded sweatshirt. Valencia-Mendoza is wanted on suspicion of attempted murder in the first degree and unlawful possession of a firearm. Police said he should be considered armed and dangerous.

It appears that at least one person in the car knew at least one person in the truck, and that the incident involved domestic violence, Kapp said.

Police responded to multiple areas, including Parr Lumber and the 7-Eleven on Fourth Plain Boulevard near Stapleton Road, according to emergency radio traffic monitored by The Columbian.

A K-9 unit searched the tan car. Members of SWAT were called out to help, and searched a residential area off of Northeast 62nd Avenue near 33rd Circle.

High school lockdown

Fort Vancouver High School went into lockdown when the incident was first reported, Kapp said. Witnesses at the high school reported seeing a Hispanic male in a hoodie cutting through the north side of the school’s property, according to emergency radio traffic.