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News / Clark County News

Driver shot after police chase ends near La Center

By Craig Brown, Columbian Editor
Published: June 3, 2021, 10:50pm

The Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team released new details early Friday on a Thursday evening police chase along southbound Interstate 5 from Kelso that ended with the driver being shot by a Washington State Patrol trooper and a Cowlitz Tribal Police officer.

A statement from investigators said authorities had deployed spike strips as the vehicle passed Woodland, but the attempt was unsuccessful.

The statement said the chase ended when the vehicle collided with another vehicle at the top of the Exit 14 offramp and, disabled, came to a stop in the roundabout adjacent to the offramp.

The statement said pursuing troopers were joined by an officer from the Cowlitz Tribal Police Department as they confronted the male driver and female passenger inside the vehicle.

During this process, the troopers and the Cowlitz police officer shot the driver, according to the statements. Details on what led up to the shooting were not disclosed, but the statement said a firearm was found in the vehicle.

The female passenger got out of the vehicle and was taken into custody but the wounded driver, who was conscious and alert, refused to get out of the vehicle. The statement said the driver told officers that he was armed and ready to die.

The police statements said the driver was then seen repeatedly using a pipe to ingest a substance believed to be methamphetamine.

After approximately 20 minutes of negotiations, the driver got out of the vehicle and was taken into custody. He was given emergency first aid by law enforcement before being transferred to medical personnel for continued treatment and transport to an area hospital.

The statement said the man was in serious but stable condition. No other details about the incident, including the name of the driver or the passenger, were released.

The Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team will investigate this incident. It will be led by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Team.