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March 31, 2023

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Clark County sheriff’s deputy cleared in fatal shooting

Man pointed gun at officer’s face, says report from prosecutor’s office

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter

A Clark County sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed a man who pointed a gun at the deputy’s face in December was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Deputy Steve Fox acted reasonably and lawfully when he shot and killed Paul J. Kolar, Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik wrote in a review of the officer-involved shooting.

The incident began when Fox was sent to 319 N.W. 289th St., at 7:50 a.m. Dec. 18 for a report of a prowler.

A woman called 911 after a suspicious person banged on her door and stated he was stuck and needed help, the review states.

Fox arrived and approached the person, identified as Kolar, and a Jeep Compass that appeared stuck in a field.

Fox stated he observed Kolar had his hand on a holstered pistol and so Fox kept an eye on him while he relayed the vehicle’s license plate to a dispatcher.

As soon as he looked up from reading the plate, Kolar walked toward Fox and took his hand out of a coat, holding a gun, according to the review. He brought the gun up and extended his arm, pointing the gun at Fox’s face, the review states.

Fox stated he immediately drew his pistol and fired at Kolar, striking him four times, according to the review.

“Deputy Fox was clear in his interview that he shot Mr. Kolar because he was in fear for his life,” Golik wrote in the review.

Another pistol was found on Kolar’s hip and a large knife was found on the ground several feet from Kolar.

When they searched the Jeep, deputies found multiple items of stolen property that belonged to residences near the location of the shooting, the review states.

A Honda sedan was also located near the scene and evidence indicated that Kolar stole that vehicle, Golik wrote.

The autopsy showed that Kolar was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of his death.

According to an obituary authored by his family, Kolar was born in St. Maries, Idaho, and grew up in nearby Plummer, where he graduated from Lakeside High School in 1997. He served in the U.S. Navy in Hawaii and later studied art at Eastern Oregon University.

He also had a criminal past, records show. In 2002, while awaiting transportation to an Idaho prison, he and a conspirator broke out of the Benewah County Jail in St. Maries and fled to Oregon, where they robbed a bank in Elgin, near La Grande, while armed with a shotgun. They were arrested after a police chase, and Kolar served time in prison.

Columbian Breaking News Reporter