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Jan. 29, 2022

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Portland man wounded in Clark County police shooting appears in court

By , Columbian staff writer

A Portland man who was shot by law enforcement officers June 3 after a high-speed chase on southbound Interstate 5 from Kelso to the La Center exit was in court Monday.

Vencine Hadley, 47, is now accused of attempted first-degree assault, attempting to elude and possessing a stolen firearm. He originally appeared in Clark County Superior Court last week on the two latter allegations, and the assault charge was added Monday.

Judge Gregory Gonzales increased his bail from $50,000 to $100,000. Hadley is scheduled to be arraigned June 24, court records show.

According to a probable cause affidavit, a Kelso police officer attempted a traffic stop on the car Hadley was driving near Three Rivers Drive in Cowlitz County. As the officer was talking to Hadley, he put the car in drive and sped toward Interstate 5.

Washington State Patrol troopers began pursuing Hadley around 7:15 p.m. on the freeway, where he reached speeds over 100 mph, the affidavit states.

Hadley weaved through traffic on I-5, nearly crashing into at least two vehicles. The chase ended when his vehicle collided with another vehicle at the top of the 319th Street Exit offramp and, disabled, came to rest in the roundabout adjacent to the offramp, according to court records.

A passenger in Hadley’s car said Hadley “told her he wasn’t going back to jail, apologized to her and armed himself with a ‘regular handgun’ with a longer clip from a bag in the backseat,” the affidavit states.

Officers shot Hadley, injuring him, but he barricaded himself inside the car, according to a police statement. After about 20 minutes of negotiations, Hadley gave up and was arrested, court records state. Hadley was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Hadley allegedly later told investigators he knew officers were trying to stop him, and he fled because he knew he had warrants for his arrest. He also said he knew he was not allowed to have a gun due to his criminal history, according to the affidavit.

The handgun officers recovered was reported stolen to the Portland Police Bureau, according to court records.

The three officers who shot Hadley — Troopers Josh Bacheller and Evan Tippets, and Cowlitz Tribal Police Officer Austin Moore — are on critical incident leave, per standard protocol, while the Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team investigates the shooting, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.