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News / Clark County News

Suspect in Kelso store clerk’s death arrested in Camas

19-year-old man arrested without incident, Kelso police press release says

By Alex Bruell, The Daily News
Published: January 23, 2019, 10:50pm

KELSO ­— Police in Camas arrested a suspect Wednesday in the shooting of 30-year-old Kayla Chapman during a robbery at the Kelso Quik Chek Market on Tuesday morning.

D’Anthony Leslie Williams, 19, was arrested without incident, according to a Kelso police press release. He was booked in the Cowlitz County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, possession of methamphetamine and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Vancouver police, Camas police and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office also helped with the arrest. Police located the stolen car allegedly used by Williams in the shooting in Vancouver, according to the press release.

The shooting, which occurred several minutes after 4 a.m. Tuesday, shocked a small neighborhood that saw Chapman as a kind, funny, and vivacious face in the community. In person and over social media, dozens recounted small interactions with her at the Quik Chek, where she was an upbeat employee, patient with customers and generous toward local homeless people.

The suspect arrived in a white four-door sedan that had other occupants, police said, before robbing the store and shooting Chapman. She was the only person in the store at the time.

Kelso Police Department has six investigators assigned to the case currently, Kirk said Wednesday morning. Cowlitz County Coroner Tim Davidson said Wednesday that an autopsy was planned for Wednesday night. Results likely will be available this morning.

An employee at Holt’s declined Wednesday to speak with a reporter. The store remained closed Wednesday and still was surrounded by police tape late in the afternoon. Police say there is no time frame for when the business will be allowed to reopen.

Investigators are still looking at a possible connection to a robbery reported in December at the Monarca Restaurant in West Longview. Two robbers allegedly pointed a gun at a man and woman who were closing the restaurant for the night and were leaving with an envelope of cash. The suspects were described as black males, and they fled in a white passenger sedan.

“We’re treating it just like any of the other leads we have,” Kirk said.

The department ruled out Wednesday any connection to a robbery of a coffee stand in Pierce County that occurred Monday. The suspect in that case, who employees said stole a tip jar, drove a similar looking but different model of white sedan.

Chapman was married, according to her Facebook profile. A candlelight vigil Tuesday night drew about 30 to 40 people, who shared a moment of silence in memory of Chapman.

An account at Fibre Federal Credit Union has been created to help the family handle funeral costs and other arrangements. Donations can be sent to account number 1333985 at any Fibre Federal branch location. Fibre Federal confirmed Wednesday that the account was authentic.

Kelso police are asking for help from the public in identifying at least two other people who were allegedly in the Williams’ car during the incident. The department can be reached at 360-423-1270.

— Columbian staff writer Jack Heffernan contributed to this story.