Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Feb. 8, 2023

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Shooting victim: ‘I’m really, really lucky’

Abigail Mounce was shot in face by neighbor Friday

By , Columbian Political Writer, and
, Columbian Breaking News Reporter
2 Photos
Abigail Mounce, with her husband Erich, speaks to reporters on Monday afternoon about her experience being shot in the face by her neighbor John Kendall.
Abigail Mounce, with her husband Erich, speaks to reporters on Monday afternoon about her experience being shot in the face by her neighbor John Kendall. After leading police officers on a manhunt on Friday, Kendall later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Photo Gallery

The last thing Abigail Mounce remembers from Friday morning is the barrel of her neighbor’s gun pointed at her.

“And then all I heard was ringing,” Mounce said Monday afternoon from her hospital bed at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.

She doesn’t remember the approximately 17 shots he fired, the shattered car window glass, or her husband speeding to the hospital on four flat tires.

And she doesn’t know why her neighbor, 59-year-old John Kendall, shot her while his car was stopped alongside the Mounces’ vehicle at a red light on Friday.

After leading police on a manhunt, Kendall died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Monday.

From her bed, Abigail Mounce spoke slowly, yet coherently, in a brief interview with local reporters.

“I thought, when I saw the gun, it was an act,” Mounce said. “A scare.”

“I’m really, really lucky,” she said.

The bullet entered through her cheek and splintered into fragments. Her right eye was split in two and will likely need to be removed.

She had facial reconstructive surgery on Friday. On Monday, her wounded eye was covered with a silver patch and bandages.

Her husband, Erich, held her hand, his voice cracking at times.

“I don’t know how we got through that,” he said.

Erich Mounce said the Clark County Sheriff’s Office told him they found seventeen shell casings at the scene, near the intersection of Northeast 63rd Street and Andresen Road.

“That’s a lot of bullets,” he said.

The Mounces and Kendall had been in a feud for nearly two years over rules governing their Meadowcharm subdivision in unincorporated Clark County. The Mounces complained when Kendall built “an unsightly temporary tarp structure” on top of a shared fence, ran a vacuum cleaner sales and repair business out of his home, and rented out his six bedrooms. They contended all of those actions violated the neighborhood covenants.

In September, a judge wrote Kendall had to evict his tenants or they would be evicted by the sheriff’s office. The Mounces’ lawyer asked the judge to consider putting Kendall in jail for violating court orders until the tenants left. On Friday, the judge was scheduled to consider the motion.

Abigail Mounce said her relationship with her neighbor had been tense, but she expressed remorse at how the events unfolded.

“I’m sad he felt that the issues we had with him had to culminate in this way,” she said.

She said she thought her neighbor was “all talk, no action.”

She’s looking forward to going home, but hopes Kendall’s tenants have vacated the property.

She also said she hopes her other neighbors don’t “hold me responsible” for what happened.

Investigation continues

Friday morning’s shooting triggered a wave of police response to locations around town where Kendall might have been. His Buick was finally located in Blandford Canyon, off East Evergreen Boulevard above Highway 14.

Officers, including the Southwest Washington SWAT team, converged on the scene, which included The Pines trailer park. They staked out and secured a perimeter, then began a search.

During the manhunt for Kendall, SWAT officers shot an unidentified person who was apparently spotted near Kendall’s vehicle.

On Monday, police still would not release the name of the victim, or why officers shot him.

They did release the names of three officers involved in the shooting: Vancouver Police Corporal Chris LeBlanc, 47; Vancouver Police Officer Brian Frances, 38; and Clark County sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Spainhower, 39.

All three were placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure following an officer-involved shooting. They will remain on leave until the investigation is completed. The investigation will be led by the Camas Police Department, whose officers were not involved in the shooting.

Camas police Sgt. Scot Boyles said the officers are allowed a few days to collect their thoughts before being interviewed by investigators.

“We don’t want to interview them when their adrenaline is going crazy,” he said.

Columbian Political Writer
Columbian Breaking News Reporter