Inmate dies after officer-involved shooting at PeaceHealth hospital

Clark County Jail inmate was in hospital for medical problem before shooting

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian Breaking News Reporter and Andy Matarrese, Columbian Breaking News Reporter

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A Clark County Jail inmate died after being shot by a corrections deputy Thursday morning at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

The shooting was reported at 10:41 a.m. when at least one of two corrections deputies guarding the inmate fired their weapon and injured the inmate, who was in the hospital receiving care, sheriff’s office spokesman Fred Neiman said.

The situation, which took place in a patient room on the fifth floor of the Firstenburg Tower, was quickly brought under control. Within the hour, the hospital returned to normal operations, PeaceHealth spokesman Randy Querin said.

The inmate, who was not identified but was described as a 66-year-old man, was brought into the hospital to receive treatment Wednesday morning and stayed overnight under guard, according to the sheriff’s office.

Neiman said he was being held on a warrant from the U.S. Marshals Service for violating his parole by escaping from community custody and for unlawful possession of a firearm.

Before the shooting, “the inmate took action which resulted” in a deputy opening fire, the sheriff’s office said.

After he was shot, the inmate was taken into surgery but died.

Neiman said the sheriff’s office didn’t share precisely what happened, as it was still being pieced together as part of the investigation.

No deputies were injured, Neiman said, and no hospital staff were involved in the shooting.

The names of the deputies involved and information on whether both fired upon the inmate was not released by the sheriff’s office.

The circumstances that led up to the shooting, Neiman said, are under investigation by the Regional Major Crimes Team. Officers with the Vancouver Police Department are taking the lead on the investigation. The involved deputies have been placed on leave, as is standard practice for the agency.