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Nov. 30, 2023

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Fatal officer-involved shooting reported in Hazel Dell

Vancouver police detectives shot armed, known gang member

By , Columbian environment and transportation reporter, and
, Columbian Assistant Metro Editor
2 Photos
An investigator photographs the scene of a police shooting in Hazel Dell on Thursday, March 7, 2019.
An investigator photographs the scene of a police shooting in Hazel Dell on Thursday, March 7, 2019. (Nathan Howard/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Two Vancouver police detectives shot and killed an armed man during a traffic stop Thursday afternoon in Hazel Dell.

The shooting was reported at 1:40 p.m. near the intersection of Northeast 78th Street and Northeast 25th Avenue. An officer radioed “shots fired!”

Six minutes earlier, officers had stopped an eastbound, dark-colored Kia sedan at that location, which is in an unincorporated suburban area patrolled by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

Additional police, deputies and emergency medical responders were dispatched after the reports of gunfire.

Police department spokeswoman Kim Kapp said detectives with the Safe Streets Task Force had stopped a known gang member related to an investigation into narcotics trafficking. The man was armed with a handgun and uncooperative when the officers pulled him over.

7 Photos
Vancouver Police officers and Clark County Sheriff's Deputies interact at the scene of a police shooting in Hazel Dell on Thursday, March 7, 2019.
Gallery: Hazel Dell officer-involved shooting Photo Gallery

Two detectives subsequently fired their weapons, she said.

No officers were injured. The detectives who fired their weapons were placed on critical incident leave, standard department protocol in an officer-involved shooting.

Police have not yet identified the detectives involved or the man who was killed.

The Regional Major Crimes Team, led by the sheriff’s office and Camas Police Department, are investigating the shooting. Any witnesses who haven’t been contacted by detectives are asked to call the sheriff’s office tip line at 360-397-2120.

Northeast 78th Street, a major east-west thoroughfare, was closed at Northeast 16th Avenue on the west to Northeast 25th Avenue on the east during the investigation. C-Tran buses were diverted to Northeast 88th Street between St. Johns Boulevard and Highway 99; all stops along 78th between St. Johns and Highway 99, and on Highway 99 between 78th and 88th streets, were closed.

Recent incidents

In February, Vancouver police were involved in three shootings, resulting in the deaths of two people.

Two officers shot and killed Michael Eugene Pierce, 29, on Feb. 28 west of downtown Vancouver after he reportedly brandished two firearms. Pierce’s family said he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia as a teen and was homeless. Friends said he was known to carry around toy guns; police have not released information about the firearms retrieved from the scene, citing the ongoing investigation.

Clayton Joseph, a Vancouver 16-year-old originally from the island of Chuuk, died after being shot by an officer Feb. 19 at an apartment complex on Southeast Ellsworth Road. Officers responding to a disturbance call said Joseph brandished a knife and refused to drop it when ordered.

And on Feb. 5, a lengthy police chase from Vancouver to Portland erupted into gunfire on Interstates 205 and 84, ending with the arrest of Erkinson K. Bossy, 23, a suspect in the slaying of Kelso convenience store clerk Kayla Chapman. One Vancouver police officer fired his weapon and was injured during the chase.

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Columbian environment and transportation reporter