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Sept. 24, 2020

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Two people shot in vehicle at Hazel Dell school

Suspected shooter shot himself after brief police chase

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter, and
, Columbian staff reporter
Published:
6 Photos
Bullet holes and a smashed window can be seen on the Toyota Sienna van where the shooting took place Tuesday.
Bullet holes and a smashed window can be seen on the Toyota Sienna van where the shooting took place Tuesday. (Nathan Howard/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Two people were shot in the parking lot of Sarah J. Anderson Elementary School in Hazel Dell on Tuesday in what authorities say was an ongoing domestic violence situation.

The suspected gunman later shot himself in the head at Padden Parkway and Andresen Road after a brief police chase.

As of Tuesday night, neither the names of the two victims nor of the suspected shooter had been released. No information about their medical conditions was available.

“This seems to be an ongoing domestic violence situation,” said Sgt. Brent Waddell of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

Police were called to the school, 2215 N.E. 104th St., at about 3:20 p.m. Tuesday and found two victims, he said.

Waddell said he didn’t know how many shots were fired in the school’s parking lot.

He also could not say if the shooter and one of the victims were husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend and if the two victims were related. One of the victims had a restraining order against the suspected shooter, he said.

One of the victims gave information to authorities before being transported, he said.

Two children were in the vehicle during the shooting, Waddell said. Both were being cared for in the school at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Waddell said school had been let out for the day and most students had left when the shooting occurred.

Some 90 minutes later, police were still congregating near a Toyota Sienna van in the school’s parking lot with four bullet holes in the windshield and a large hole in the driver’s window, presumably from a gunshot.

When asked if the suspected shooter had been recently released from jail, Waddell replied: “That could be.” He said he did not know if the man was being held on charges related to domestic violence.

Fire District 6 spokesman Dave Schmitke said rescuers were at first waved off from the scene, which suggested a fatality, but rescuers were able to detect a pulse on both victims.

The victims were transported, one to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center and the other to Legacy Emmanuel Medical Center in Portland.

Sarah J. Anderson Elementary was built in 2004 and has about 800 students. No staff or students were injured in the shooting, according to a news release from Vancouver Public Schools.

The school was put into lockdown, but it was lifted shortly before 4 p.m. Gaiser Middle School also was temporarily locked down.

According to scanner traffic monitored in The Columbian newsroom, the suspected gunman fled the scene in a red Toyota Corolla.

A police chase ensued as the suspect ran red lights and fled at speeds up to 75 mph on 78th Street, St. Johns Road and other streets. The suspect, after being slowed by afternoon traffic, got out of his car and shot himself in the head.

Clark County Major Crimes is investigating.

Waddell said police do not expect to release more information about the two victims and the suspected shooter until Wednesday.

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