Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Sept. 30, 2020

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Vancouver man, 72, allegedly pointed gun at group near his apartment

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter

A 72-year-old man who lives at an apartment complex for veterans was arrested Sunday night after allegedly pointing a firearm at a group of people.

Robert R. Fitzgerald was booked into the Clark County Jail on suspicion of three counts of first-degree assault and a single count of felony harassment.

Officers were dispatched around 8:30 p.m. to the Freedom’s Path apartments, 1615 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., for a report of a disturbance with a weapon, Vancouver Police Department spokeswoman Kim Kapp said.

Police report notes indicate that a man pointed a gun at a group of people near the complex’s parking lot, Kapp said. He retreated inside his apartment before officers arrived, she said.

One of the victims told police that he and Fitzgerald had argued over an issue in the past. Earlier Sunday, Fitzgerald approached the victim, brought up the issue and then threatened to kill him and another man while pointing a handgun at them, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Clark County Superior Court. Both victims said they pleaded with Fitzgerald not to shoot and tried to de-escalate the situation, the affidavit says.

The incident prompted a large police response to the location near the Vancouver VA campus; officers set up containment around Fitzgerald’s building and commanded him to exit. He eventually did and was taken into custody, according to the police department.

Fitzgerald’s firearm was determined to be a realistic-looking pellet gun, police said. The officer who wrote the probable cause affidavit noted that he heard eight or nine “pops” from what sounded like a suppressed firearm during the response.

Court records say Fitzgerald made a first appearance Monday in Superior Court. Judge Daniel Stahnke set his bail at $50,000 and scheduled an arraignment hearing for Aug. 14.