Friday, October 30, 2020
Oct. 30, 2020

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Vancouver man accused in stabbing at gas station

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter

A 34-year-old Vancouver man is accused of stabbing a man Saturday night at a gas station in Vancouver’s Lincoln neighborhood.

James E. Lopez made a first appearance Monday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree assault. Judge Bernard Veljacic set Lopez’s bail at $100,000, court records show.

Vancouver police were dispatched at 10:30 p.m. to the Chevron at 3901 Main St., for a report of an assault with a weapon. A man had been stabbed in the shoulder, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The assailant fled before police arrived, and an initial search using a police canine was unsuccessful. Officers determined the victim suffered a stab wound to his back on the upper left side, and he was taken to the hospital to receive stitches, court records say.

A witness across the street had heard that a man with face tattoos and wearing a red shirt committed the stabbing. He told officers the suspect was likely Lopez and showed them Lopez’s Facebook account, according to the affidavit.

With the help of Clark County sheriff’s deputies, officers tracked Lopez to an apartment a few blocks away from the gas station. Lopez was seen with a woman in one of the building’s upstairs windows. Law enforcement surrounded the building and called the woman, who told them that Lopez was inside and armed with a knife, according to the affidavit.

In the meantime, while at the hospital, the victim identified Lopez as his attacker from a photo lineup, the affidavit says.

A negotiator eventually got on the phone with Lopez, who agreed to come outside. During a subsequent interview at the Vancouver Police Department’s West Precinct, Lopez admitted to arguing with someone at the gas station. He denied stabbing the man despite being shown video evidence, according to the affidavit.

Lopez is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 2.