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News / Clark County News

Fallen Clark County deputy identified; shooting suspect remains at large

Detective Jeremy Brown had been with office for 15 years and served on regional drug task force

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Local News Editor
Published: July 24, 2021, 8:01pm

Clark County sheriff’s Detective Jeremy Brown, 46, was identified as the deputy who was fatally shot Friday evening at an east Vancouver apartment complex. The suspected shooter remains at large.

The SW Washington Regional Major Crimes Team said Saturday evening that an arrest warrant has been issued for 26-year-old Guillermo O. Raya in connection with the shooting. Police said Raya is considered armed and dangerous.

Two other people — identified as Abran Raya-Leon, 28, and Misty M. Raya, 35 — were arrested on unrelated felony warrants following an hourslong manhunt after the shooting, according to the Vancouver Police Department, which is handling the release of information.

Brown was a 15-year veteran of the sheriff’s office and served as a detective with the Clark-Vancouver Drug Task Force. He had been in that role since 2017.

“This is a difficult time for the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, law enforcement agencies in Clark County and the surrounding Clark County, Portland metro area,” a sheriff’s office statement issued late Friday said. “Clark County law enforcement appreciates the support and understanding of the community in these tough times.”

During his service with the sheriff’s office, Brown also worked as a corrections deputy and patrol deputy, the sheriff’s office said Saturday afternoon. He served with the Washington State Department of Corrections and as a reserve officer with the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office in Montana. He was a military police officer in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1993 to 1995, according to investigative records.

Brown was one of three Clark County deputies who fatally shot Kevin Peterson Jr., a 21-year-old Black man, during a planned drug sale in Hazel Dell on the evening of Oct. 29.

Shot during surveillance

Friday’s shooting — which prompted a large law enforcement response and manhunt — occurred shortly before 7 p.m. at The Pointe Apartments, in the 3500 block of Northeast 109th Avenue and just east of Interstate 205 in Vancouver.

Brown was in his vehicle conducting surveillance at the complex, when other law enforcement units in the area were unable to reach him on the radio. Around the same time, someone heard what sounded like gunshots and saw a man bleeding inside a vehicle. The person called 911, according to an investigation update issued Saturday evening.

Two men and a woman were seen fleeing the area and were pursued by officers. The fleeing vehicle crashed near Padden Parkway and I-205, and the three suspects ran, investigators said.

The county’s 911 dispatch center and local law enforcement issued bulletins Friday night asking residents to stay away from the area of I-205 and Northeast 87th Street because of the search. Area residents were encouraged to stay inside their homes, keep doors locked and report any suspicious activity to 911.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded for the manhunt and later located Raya-Leon and Misty Raya, the update states.

More information

Law enforcement officers investigate the scene of a reported shooting at The Pointe Apartments on Friday evening, July 23, 2021.Fallen Clark County deputy identified; shooting suspect remains at large
Clark County sheriff’s Detective Jeremy Brown, 46, was identified as the deputy who was fatally shot Friday evening at an east Vancouver apartment complex. The…
Law enforcement officers investigate the scene of a reported shooting at The Pointe Apartments on Friday evening.Detective’s death prompts outpouring of grief, sympathy
Condolences came pouring in for the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and family of Detective Jeremy Brown, who was shot and killed Friday evening in east…
Guillermo Raya LeonSuspect in death of Clark County sheriff’s detective arrested in Oregon
Detectives from the U.S. Marshals Service Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force and the Salem, Ore., Police Department have arrested the prime suspect in the…

Officers radioed that the two were taken into custody in a yard in the 8700 block of Northeast 76th Avenue at about 9:15 p.m. Friday. Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency reported at 2:50 a.m. Saturday that the ongoing law enforcement activity in the area had cleared.

Police also detained a woman in the apartment complex Friday night, and another person was seen in the back of a Vancouver Police Department car. Investigators have not released information about those detentions.

Witness accounts

David Joyner Jr., 44, lives in the apartment complex. He said he and his wife were having dinner when he heard three pops. He got up and looked out the window but didn’t see anyone. Joyner said it didn’t take him more than 30 seconds to get to the window. He said police started to arrive about a minute and a half later.

Joyner went downstairs a few minutes later, he said, and saw neighbors gathering outside. A neighbor told him someone had been shot.

He said he saw a red car that appeared to have been shot at with an unconscious man inside. The man was placed in an ambulance and transported to a hospital. Joyner said a minivan parked next to the car had also been struck by bullets.

Shortly after 8:30 p.m., officers detained a woman who came out of one of the buildings in the apartment complex with her hands up. She walked across the parking lot to officers armed with a shield and tactical gear. She was handcuffed and taken to a Vancouver Police Department car.

At about 9 p.m. Lower Columbia SWAT arrived in an armored vehicle and began calling out to people inside that same building, demanding they come out with their hands up.

SWAT remained outside the apartment building for over two hours, calling for anyone else inside to come out. At 11:15 p.m., the officers approached the building and broke out a unit’s front window. They then entered through the front door. After several minutes, they exited with no one in custody and left the scene.

Officers killed in the line of duty

Nine local law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty since 1922, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and Columbian archives.

Over the past decade, 1,763 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty — an average of 176 per year. There were 306 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2020 across the U.S., statistics from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund show.

July 23, 2021: Detective Jeremy Brown, Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Brown was shot in his vehicle while conducting surveillance at an east Vancouver apartment complex. The shooting investigation is ongoing.

July 30, 2004: Sgt. Brad Crawford, Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Crawford was killed when his unmarked patrol car was intentionally rammed by a pickup whose driver was fleeing a domestic disturbance at his home.

March 2, 1987: Trooper James S. Gain, Washington State Patrol. Gain died just after he had stopped a motorist for speeding on Interstate 5 near Salmon Creek. He was standing on the shoulder when a truck hit him.

Nov. 18, 1976: Deputy Martin Sowders, Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Sowders was accidentally shot and killed by another deputy during a shootout with a suspect wanted for robbing a pharmacy.

Dec. 21, 1951: Trooper Don R. Campbell Jr., Washington State Patrol. Campbell was struck by a vehicle while directing traffic.

Sept. 29, 1932: Special Agent Ballard W. Turner, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Turner was shot while raiding a still in Vancouver.

Oct. 15, 1932: Special Agent Ernest B. Vlasich, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Vlasich was shot by a suspect in Vancouver while attempting an arrest.

May 22, 1927: Clark County Sheriff Lester Wood. The newly elected sheriff and some of his deputies were searching for a still near Yacolt when Wood was confronted by a gunman. He rounded a bend and was shot and killed.

Aug. 7, 1922: Deputy Wilfred E. Rorison, Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Rorison was killed during a raid on a moonshine still when he and two prohibition agents were met by gunfire.