The 18-year-old man fatally shot Monday afternoon in a Hazel Dell parking lot has been identified as Gage Allan Kiser of Vancouver, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.
Terrance J. Busby, 17, was arrested Monday in connection with Kiser’s death. The teen is believed to be the person who drove the suspect vehicle away from the scene of the shooting. He was booked into the Clark County Juvenile Detention Facility on suspicion of being an accomplice to second-degree murder. He is scheduled to make a first court appearance this morning.
Deputies and medics were dispatched about 2:30 p.m. Monday to Pacific 63 Center, 6204 N.E. Highway 99, for multiple reports of a shooting. The shopping center is home to a number of businesses, including a chiropractic office, martial arts center, hair salon, dental office and Mexican food restaurant.
Rachel Percell was working at the chiropractic office in the complex when, 10 minutes into a massage, she and a client heard the pop of gunshots, she said in an email.
“I left my massage room to see the commotion and saw my co-worker rush out to the parking lot, on the phone with 911,” she said.
Someone told Percell that someone had been shot, and she snagged a stack of towels and rushed to the parking lot.
There, she saw Kiser slumped over in a white Jeep, bleeding profusely, she said.
“Another woman helped me apply pressure to his side, and I tried slapping his face to see if he was responsive. I then asked his friend to pull him out of the Jeep so I could begin CPR,” Percell said.
They brought Kiser to the ground and started CPR. Police arrived soon after and took over, she said.
Kiser’s friends were nearby, she said, shocked and in tears over their friend. They couldn’t say much, she said, but told her it was a drug deal gone bad. The sheriff’s office said the same.
“Everything that happened was a blur afterwards,” Percell said.
The suspect vehicle had already sped away from the scene, according to the sheriff’s office. Kiser was pronounced dead at the scene. His Jeep was still running when first responders arrived on the scene.
Investigators say they believe Kiser and the suspects knew each other.
Later Monday, detectives with Clark County Major Crimes, Vancouver Police Major Crimes and the Clark County Tactical Detective Unit located the suspect vehicle and identified Busby as the alleged driver.
The Clark County Major Crimes Unit is investigating. Anyone with information about the shooting should contact Detective Fred Neiman Jr. at Fred.NeimanJr@clark.wa.gov.
Kiser was enrolled at Skyview High School but was previously a student at Fort Vancouver High School. Busby is enrolled at Hudson’s Bay High School but previously attended Skyview, according to Vancouver Public Schools spokeswoman Pat Nuzzo.
Extra counselors are available for students at Fort and Skyview high schools through the School Mobilization Assistance Response Team, or SMART, through Educational Service District 112. The SMART Team is made up of counselors, social workers, psychologists and other social and mental health providers. They respond to schools during traumatic events, often student or staff suicides, Nuzzo said.
That a student is being held on suspicion of being an accomplice in a murder is a new one for Vancouver Public Schools, Nuzzo said. She’s uncertain at this point how the district or individual teachers may attempt to explain what happened to students.
“I think it’s devastating for everybody,” Nuzzo said.