The Vancouver Police Department identified two detectives Monday who were involved in the fatal shooting of a 43-year-old man Thursday in Hazel Dell.
The involved officers were detectives Dennis Devlin, 45, and Colton Price, 30, according to a police department news release. Both have been involved in separate officer-involved shootings within the past six years, according to Columbian archives.
Carlos M. Hunter was killed as a result of the shooting, according to the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office. Hunter died of multiple gunshot wounds to the torso. His death was ruled a homicide, meaning it resulted from another person’s deliberate action. The ruling does not make any judgments about criminal culpability.
The shooting was reported at 1:40 p.m. near the intersection of Northeast 78th Street and Northeast 25th Avenue. An officer said shots had been fired, according to emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian. Six minutes earlier, detectives 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. She said the man was armed with a handgun and uncooperative when the officers pulled him over, leading the detectives to fire their weapons.
Hunter’s family has disputed the police department’s claim that he was affiliated with gangs, stating he had ties when he was younger but severed them to focus on his five children.
Price was hired by the police department in November 2012. He has been assigned to patrol and as a detective in the Neighborhood Response Team East since January 2017. The police department initially incorrectly reported that Price was with the Safe Streets Task Force.
He was one of five Vancouver police officers involved in the Nov. 25, 2014, fatal shooting of Sebastian T. Lewandowski, 31. Police were called to the Alder Creek Apartments, 11716 N.E. 49th St., for a report of an argument between a man and woman. The man, who was reportedly armed, had set an apartment on fire, police said at that time. Lewandowski was carrying what appeared to be an AR-15-style rifle, but police later determined it was an Airsoft-type replica. Police fired at Lewandowski, who died of multiple gunshot wounds.
The Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office found the actions of Pierce, and of all the other officers, were justified.
Devlin was hired by the police department in March 2004. He has been assigned to patrol, the Neighborhood Response Team and as a detective in the Safe Streets Task Force since October 2015, where he is currently assigned.
In March 2013, Devlin shot and wounded an armed man who had confronted police as they were investigating a disturbance and shooting outside a now-defunct nightclub in the 700 block of Main Street. The armed man, then-21-year-old Darryl E. Humphrey Jr. of Portland, was treated for his injury and arrested. The county prosecutor determined the shooting was justified.
Devlin’s accolades include the department’s Medal of Valor for a May 2013 incident in which he and two other officers rescued a resident from a burning building before firefighters could arrive.
More recently, Price and Devlin were stabbed while subduing a man who caused a scene at Cameo Cafe, north of Vancouver Mall, and then refused to leave. Price was eating lunch at the cafe on Aug. 1, 2018, when Justin Bernard Krahn threatened to kill customers there, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Clark County Superior Court.
Price went out to his patrol vehicle and put on a police vest. He re-entered the cafe and asked Krahn to leave. Krahn quickly stood up and reached in his pocket, took a “bladed stance” and swung at Price, according to the affidavit. Devlin had responded to provide backup. Price was struck twice on his left side as Krahn was brought to the ground; Devlin was stabbed on the back side of his leg.
The affidavit says the officers were able to handcuff Krahn once he was shocked with a stun gun.
Both detectives remain on critical incident leave while the Regional Major Crimes Team, led by the Camas Police Department, continues to investigate the shooting.