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May 31, 2020

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3 men sentenced in September 2016 shootings

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor
Published:
3 Photos
Dmitriy Yurchenko
Dmitriy Yurchenko Photo Gallery

Three men are headed to prison for their involvement in two shootings in September 2016 — one at a Vancouver house party and the other at Vancouver’s Marine Park in which two teens were wounded.

Dmitriy Yurchenko, who prosecutors say was the primary culprit in the Marine Park shooting, was sentenced Friday in Clark County Superior Court to 20 years in prison between the two cases. He pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree assault in the house party shooting and two counts of first-degree assault in the park shooting.

Yurchenko, 21, of Portland was facing attempted murder charges for shooting a 16-year-old boy and 15-year-old girl during a dispute Sept. 29, 2016, at the park, 4501 S.E. Columbia Way.

A co-defendant in both shootings, 21-year-old Mykola Kovalchuk, of Gresham, Ore., was also sentenced Friday to seven years in prison. Kovalchuk pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree assault in the house party shooting and six counts of second-degree assault in the park shooting.

Deputy Prosecutor Anna Klein said in a phone interview Friday that Kovalchuk received substantially less time than Yurchenko, despite his involvement in both shootings, because he cooperated with law enforcement and the prosecution. He was also found to not be as culpable as Yurchenko; he had fired his weapon into the air, and Yurchenko shot the two teens, Klein said.

The third co-defendant, Pavlo S. Kosmyna, 23, of Portland, was sentenced Thursday to 6 1/2 years in prison for the house party shooting. He pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree assault and one count of drive-by shooting. Klein said that Kosmyna was present during the Marine Park shooting but was never charged.

All three will be required to pay nearly $22,000 in restitution.

Party crashers

On the night of Sept. 24, 2016, Artur Savochka was hosting a party at his residence in the 6500 block of Northeast 79th Avenue for a friend who was leaving town. Kovalchuk, Kosmyna and a third person arrived with a group who were not invited. When they were told to leave, a fight ensued, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The group of troublemakers left after hearing sirens, the affidavit states.

About two hours later, shortly before 12:45 a.m., 911 received a call for shots fired at Savochka’s residence. Arriving Clark County sheriff’s deputies found a 2- to 3-inch hole in the center of the glass front door, holes in the wall behind the front door and five smaller holes in the living room, according to court records. No one was injured.

Arriving partygoers saw a dark gray BMW speeding through the neighborhood with its headlights off right before the shooting. Two people wearing masks got out of the BMW, ran to the house and fired multiple shots. They ran back to their car and sped off, according to court documents. The suspects were not immediately located.

Then, at about 11 p.m. Sept. 29, 2016, a group of 11 high school students were leaving a bonfire at Marine Park when they encountered a group of 10 to 15 Eastern European males, including Yurchenko and Kovalchuk, in the parking lot. Some of the males were blocking a female student’s car from leaving, according to a separate probable cause affidavit.

The female student asked the males to move so she could leave, but they refused. The situation became heated, and some other high school students stepped in to help calm things down. But one of the males in the other group started banging on the back of the girl’s car, the affidavit said.

Yurchenko and Kovalchuk walked to a nearby vehicle and grabbed what appeared to be assault rifles from the trunk. They fired rounds into the air and then began walking toward the group of high school students, according to court records.

Shots were fired at the fleeing students. A 16-year-old boy was struck in the left calf. He was transported to a hospital and required sutures, court documents state.

The female student involved in the initial argument tried to flee, but shots were fired at her vehicle. A 15-year-old girl in the backseat suffered a wound to her lower back and left hip and told police that bullet fragments entered her torso and are too deep to remove, according to the affidavit.

Vancouver police located multiple .223-caliber rifle casings in the parking lot and found the female student’s car had been struck by at least two rounds, court records said.

After Kovalchuk was arrested in the Marine Park shooting, he confessed to being involved in the house party shooting and named Kosmyna and Yurchenko as accomplices. He said he drove Yurchenko’s BMW to the house while Kosmyna and Yurchenko put on masks and armed themselves with a .38-caliber semi-automatic pistol and shotgun. Police later found a 12-gauge shotgun in the trunk of Yurchenko’s car and two masks in the backseat, the affidavit states.

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