Thursday, August 18, 2022
Aug. 18, 2022

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Vancouver man in court on suspicion of assault, drive-by shooting

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

A Vancouver man allegedly shot at a pickup during a road rage incident Saturday morning on northbound Interstate 205 near state Highway 14.

John Robert Johnston, 28, appeared Monday morning in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree assault and drive-by shooting.

Judge David Gregerson set Johnston’s bail at $30,000. He will be arraigned April 23.

The victim, OlekSandr Savchenko, 27, called 911 to report the shooting, which occurred around 9:45 a.m. at Milepost 27. He told the Washington State Patrol that he was traveling north in his white Dodge pickup when a man shot his right rear door; the bullet became lodged in the front passenger’s seat, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Before the shooting, the driver of a black Mitsubishi Eclipse with Oregon license plates, had cut off Savchenko, he said, prompting a road rage incident. He said they both flipped each other off, the affidavit says.

Savchenko provided a physical description of the suspect, as well as his license plate number, court records show.

Vancouver police later located the suspect vehicle at an apartment complex in the 12800 block of Southeast Seventh Street. Police surrounded the apartment and detained two males and a female believed to be associated with the car, according to the affidavit.

Savchenko was asked to come and potentially identify a suspect, at which time he provided troopers with a still image captured from his vehicle’s dash cam. Using the photo, police identified one of the detained males, Johnston, as the suspect; Savchenko also later identified Johnston as the road rage driver, court records say.

Johnston reportedly told police he was driving in the Mitsubishi from Portland to Vancouver to get a moving truck. He allegedly acknowledged there was a road rage incident and said he believed Savchenko pointed a silver pistol at him. He said he was afraid, so he grabbed his pistol from the glove box and fired one round at the pickup, the affidavit states.

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