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Two Vancouver police officers shoot domestic violence stabbing suspect

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter
7 Photos
Officials investigate after a domestic violence investigation resulted in a non-fatal police shooting in Vancouver's Rose Village neighborhood on Monday morning, Oct. 5, 2020.
Officials investigate after a domestic violence investigation resulted in a non-fatal police shooting in Vancouver's Rose Village neighborhood on Monday morning, Oct. 5, 2020. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Two Vancouver police officers shot a man who allegedly stabbed his girlfriend at a Rose Village apartment Sunday, according to a statement.

Vancouver police were dispatched at 11:15 p.m. to the 2600 block of T Street for the report of an assault with a weapon.

An unidentified man forced his way into the apartment and stabbed his girlfriend, according to a Vancouver Police Department news release.

Several people inside the apartment were able to get the suspect back outside, where he confronted officers, the police department said.

“The suspect refused police commands to drop his weapon. Two Vancouver Police officers fired their weapons, striking the suspect,” police said.

The man was taken to the hospital; police did not detail the severity of his injuries or say whether he’s expected to survive.

Three people who were in the apartment and struggled with the suspect during the stabbing were also taken to the hospital, as was the man’s girlfriend, police said. Details of their injuries were also not reported.

Police tape tied to Vancouver police vehicles blocked off a section of T Street shortly before noon Monday. Although there were city officers on the perimeter of the scene, Clark County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Brent Waddell said the investigation has been handed over to the Southwest Independent Investigative Response Team, led by the sheriff’s office.

In response to questions about the police shooting, Waddell said in an email that information will be released as part of a weekly investigation update. This is similar to how Washington State Patrol has been releasing information in the investigation of the fatal shooting of Manuel Ellis in Tacoma.

Authorities did not immediately say whether any community representatives not associated with law enforcement will be involved in the investigation. Such representatives are required by state law under legislation that passed in 2018 and was modified in 2019.

The two officers who fired their weapons have been placed on critical incident leave, which is standard procedure following incidents where officers shoot suspects.

More than 12 hours after the shooting, law enforcement officers continued to limit access to the north main entrance to Parc Central Apartments. Evidence markers dotted either side of the entrance. White, spray-painted circles had been put on the ground in and around the same area.

About a dozen markers lay on the sidewalk and grass along the street. Most of them marked what looked like debris or garbage, but a backpack rested on the grass nearby. One of the markers was next to a yellow Taser sitting on the shoulder of the road.

Around noon, a deputy was photographing the evidence while a detective knocked on the doors of homes across the street from the apartment complex.

The alleged stabbing happened in the F building, according to a neighbor who did not want to be identified.

The neighbor said he heard a noise and decided to check out what was happening. He stepped onto the stairs leading to his upstairs apartment and saw a man holding himself, covered in blood. The bloodied man was carrying an object, possibly a screwdriver, but the neighbor said he was unsure.

He said he did not hear much beyond muffled screams and what sounded like people stomping before seeing the man outside.

Police hadn’t yet arrived when he spotted the man, so he retreated inside. He went outside once again as the commotion picked up. According to the neighbor, he was standing behind a tree when he heard five to six gunshots. It is difficult to describe what happened in more detail, he said, as there was yelling and flashing lights in every direction.

The neighbor said he offered an occasional greeting to the neighbors reportedly involved in the incident, but he did not know them well. He did not recall police coming to their apartment in the past but added that officers frequently respond to the neighborhood.

Susan Hills said she looked out her window at the apartment complex Sunday night and saw numerous police and flashing lights, but she did not hear or see much else.

Hills also said that officers have been frequently responding to the street. There are often people drinking in the parking lot of the apartments, prompting noise complaints, she said. She noted another police response in the past couple weeks during which SWAT officers twice descended on the street for what she was told was a domestic violence situation across T Street.

“It doesn’t feel safe here, especially with all the drinking and carrying on in the parking lot, not to mention that we’re in the middle of a pandemic,” Hills said.

Columbian Breaking News Reporter

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