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Radio traffic around fatal police shooting of Kevin Peterson paints chaotic scene

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

Radio traffic from the night of the fatal police shooting of Kevin Peterson Jr. paints a chaotic scene that unfolded in about 10 minutes’ time — from when he arrived until authorities approached him as he lay on the ground.

The Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office on Tuesday released the audio from Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency, as the final investigative records in the shooting.

Three Clark County sheriff’s deputies shot Peterson after a confidential informant had arranged to buy 50 Xanax pills from him outside a Quality Inn in Hazel Dell on the evening of Oct. 29, according to investigators.

The fatal shooting occurred shortly before 6 p.m. in the parking lot of a shuttered U.S. Bank branch, 6829 N.E. Highway 99, adjacent to the motel.

Investigators concluded Peterson had committed conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance and attempted assault on law enforcement when he pointed a loaded Glock 23 .40-caliber pistol at pursuing deputies. However, they also concluded he did not fire the weapon, contradicting what officers initially said.

Editor's note: This audio may be disturbing to some listeners. Kevin Peterson Jr. was fatally shot by three Clark County sheriff's deputies during an arranged drug deal Oct. 29 on Highway 99 in Hazel Dell. Deputies engage Peterson at about the 2:30 mark. Video

Deputies fired 34 rounds at Peterson, striking him four times.

The Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is reviewing the law enforcement investigation and will determine if the deputies’ use of deadly force was lawful and justified. The findings will be presented in a report to Clark County.

The following time-stamped transcript of the police radio traffic from that night has been edited for brevity, starting at 5:51 p.m.

Oct. 29, 2020

5:51:38: We got one arriving from the south — gray, newer Mercedes just pulling out. See if it goes there.

5:51:46: Yeah, it turned into the Quality Inn, and it looks like it could be a match on our driver.

5:51:54: It’s a dark blue with Oregon plates.

5:52:07: Yeah, he’s kind of just slow around the lot.

5:52:15: (Garbled) probably wouldn’t hurt to try to contact him.

5:52:33: Yeah, affirm. He just confirmed he’s here.

5:52:37: First one that comes in take a hard left, wrap around to the right, and you’ll come up behind him.

5:53:02: All right, we’re approaching.

5:53:33: (Garbled) door swung open.

5:53:48: He’s running.

5:53:51: Hey, he has something in his hand. Be careful. It might be a gun. Fields, Fields (garbled)

5:53:59: Hey, stop! Do not chase him around the corner. Let’s get patrol started.

5:54:07: Hey, Fields is yelling that he had a gun. Let’s switch to 2.

5:54:12: His gun’s out. He’s got a gun in his hand.

5:54:5: All right guys let’s all switch to 2.

5:54:6: Control 2. NORA18. Get patrol started our way. Code 3. We got a man on foot running with a gun. Black male. Uh, give you a plate.

5:54:32: Zero Three One Henry Charles Edward, Oregon plate.

5:54:41: He’s heading toward the strip, he’s heading toward the strip.

5:54:47: South side of Quality Inn along the fence line. Black male. Blue sweatshirt.

5:55:16: Where you going, Jeremy?

5:55:22: Jeremy, he’s behind you. He’s walking up behind you.

5:55:27: He’s on the south side of the U.S. Bank.

5:55:34: He’s getting ready to hit a fence.

5:55:52: Code 33 for more units.

5:55:53: Shots fired, shots fired.

5:56:04: Start AMR Code 3. Have them stage.

5:56:09: Shots fired, shots fired. Gun’s on the ground. He’s laying on his back. He’s still moving.

5:56:23: Let’s get more patrol units in the U.S. Bank parking lot. We are going to need someone with a shield.

At 5:56 p.m., dispatch taps out a Priority 1 call for Engine 61: stab gunshot or penetrating trauma at 7001 N.E. Highway 99 at the Quality Inn.

5:56:46: All right, we got him proned out. He’s still and we’re going to stand down.

5:57:02: (Garbled) Fields, you got the bird up?

5:57:06: Negative.

5:57:10: Fields, get the bird up.

5:57:15: Bill you call it, it’s on you.

5:57:20: All right, NORA5 has tactical command. Everyone stand down. Fields get the bird up. We got him on his back. He’s not moving.

5:57:33: Where did we see the gun drop?

5:57:36: It was on his right-hand side.

5:58:00: I’m arriving with a shield.

5:58:07: Can one of those patrol cars come in?

5:58:27: Where you guys at?

5:58:30: We’re on the south side of the bank. We have an arrest team. We’re going to use a patrol car to get a little closer to him.

5:58:41: Does someone have an eye on him from the north?

At 5:58 p.m., dispatch taps out a Priority 1 call for Battalion 61: stab gunshot or penetrating trauma at 7001 N.E. Highway 99 at the Quality Inn.

5:58:55: We need a containment on the north, trying to get eyes on him from the north.

Editor's Note: This video contains graphic content that may be upsetting to some readers. Video

5:59:07: Fields, you up?

5:59:11: Yeah, affirm. I’m working my way that way now.

5:59:30: OK. We’re going to get a car to the north of him, and then we’re going to approach.

5:59:49: Yeah, the handgun we’re now seeing; it’s on the ground about 3 feet from him.

6:00:11: All right, we’re going to start moving up on foot.

6:00:43: We need a unit or two to secure a vehicle, Quality Inn parking lot. Mercedes. The door will probably be open, if that hasn’t been done yet.

6:01:09: We’re taking him into custody.

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