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Dec. 4, 2020

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Kevin E. Peterson was father, former Union High School football player

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter
Published:

Kevin E. Peterson Jr., the Black man who was fatally shot by Clark County sheriff’s deputies Thursday in Hazel Dell was the father of a newborn daughter.

“He did everything for our daughter. He stepped up at such a young age and was truly amazing,” Peterson’s girlfriend, Olivia Selto, said.

Selto, who shared photos of their 4-month-old daughter online, said she had been on the phone with Peterson during his fatal encounter with deputies.

“I was on the phone before the shots and stayed on the phone for nine minutes until the police finally came over and hung up the phone,” Selto said in a message.

“I heard his last words and everything,” she said. “I’m devastated, and we will get justice for his wrongful death.”

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Selto said Peterson had called her via video at 5:55 p.m. When she answered, Peterson was running, she said. She couldn’t understand much of what he was saying, but he seemed scared. Then, she heard shots.

“After the shots, he told me he loved me and made a few sounds, then silence came,” Selto said.

As soon as she heard the shots — which happened about a minute after Peterson called — Selto began screen-recording the video call, she said. It ended at 6:04 p.m., when law enforcement officers are seen looking at the phone, covering the camera and then hanging up the call, she said.

Selto said Peterson wanted most to simply succeed, make his family proud and provide for them.

Peterson supported her and their daughter since she became pregnant. She said she believed he would always be there for them, and his death is a devastating loss that she and others may never overcome.

Peterson was born and raised in Portland, but he most recently lived in Camas, Selto said.

Jake Thompson, a high school acquaintance of Peterson, said he took photos at the wedding of Peterson’s parents in Portland in 2018.

On Friday, he posted a black-and-white photo of Peterson in a tuxedo with a big grin, according to the Associated Press.

Peterson played football at Union High School in Vancouver, loved sports of any kind and was a big personality who was known and liked by everyone at school, Thompson said.

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