Thursday, March 4, 2021
March 4, 2021

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Man shot by Vancouver police officer on Thanksgiving remains hospitalized

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter

Investigators have not released any new information this week about a man who was shot by a Vancouver police officer on Thanksgiving.

An update Thursday from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office says 23-year-old Irving Rodriguez is still receiving medical treatment at an area hospital. Authorities have not disclosed Rodriguez’s condition; he has been hospitalized for three weeks.

The Southwest Washington Regional Independent Investigative Team said there is no new information to release at this time. The team is continuing to investigate the shooting, according to the sheriff’s office.

The team is required to provide weekly updates on police shooting investigations in accordance with the Law Enforcement Training and Community Safety Act, formerly known as I-940. The law calls for a completely independent investigation into police use of deadly force. One of the goals of the law is to increase transparency by law enforcement.

A sheriff’s office spokesman on Thursday did not answer specific questions about the shooting investigation. Sgt. Brent Waddell said in an email that it is anticipated the investigation will be presented to the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office next week.

Court records for Rodriguez — that show his full last name is Diaz-Rodriguez and confirm his age and residence as the address police responded to on the day of the shooting — detail a long history of mental illness, specifically schizophrenia, and contact with law enforcement.

He was listed Thursday afternoon on the Clark County Superior Court’s readiness docket for two separate cases. One case involves a charge of first-degree burglary from November 2019, while in the other, Rodriguez is facing third-degree assault, third-degree malicious mischief and resisting arrest for an alleged incident in late April.

Defense attorney Katie Kauffman, who’s representing Diaz-Rodriguez, has requested competency evaluations for him in both cases. She said Diaz-Rodriguez is at a PeaceHealth facility, and she has been in contact with him.

Police shooting

Vancouver police officers were dispatched at 7:04 p.m. to a home in the 2300 block of Southeast 177th Avenue after a family member texted 911 to report a relative was “out of control, and they were afraid he was going to hurt them,” according to the police department. Several family members were inside the home.

When officers arrived, the man who was reportedly causing the disturbance was outside. He retreated inside, was seen moving through rooms and, at one point, was seen holding a baseball bat, police said.

Vancouver police said a mobile crisis team, which typically consists of mental health professionals, responded but was unable to de-escalate the situation. Officers used a less-lethal 40 mm device that was ineffective, according to the police department. The man refused to drop the bat.

“He advanced toward officers outside the residence from a recently opened garage door in an apparent attempt to assault them. A Vancouver police officer fired his weapon, hitting the male who was transported to an area hospital,” the police department said.

Vancouver police Officer Ryne Briley, 31, was identified as the officer who fired his weapon at Diaz-Rodriguez.

A neighbor, Bjorn Freyrson, 55, told The Columbian he was standing at his open back door when he heard a commotion coming from his neighbors’ backyard, around 10:30 or 10:45 p.m. He noted there is a history of conflict there and police showing up in prior situations.

Freyrson said he later heard a “pop,” and six to seven rounds immediately followed.


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