The Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has declined to file criminal charges against a contract newspaper carrier who fatally shot a man last month at The Waterfront Vancouver.
The man who was killed, identified as 29-year-old Kin K. Bossy, had been attempting to steal the carrier’s car April 17 when he was shot multiple times, according to investigative documents related to the case.
The independent contractor newspaper carrier for The Columbian, identified by police as 35-year-old Justyn Vallandingham, fired at Bossy after finding him inside his vehicle.
In a letter Thursday to a Vancouver police detective, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jeff McCarty wrote that Bossy appeared to be committing a felony offense against Vallandingham, who feared imminent danger or death.
Vallandingham — who has a concealed pistol license — reportedly told police he saw Bossy turn toward the center console of his car and feared he was trying to grab a weapon, so he fired at him.
The letter said no area surveillance footage captured the shooting.
Police responded around 4:30 a.m. on a Saturday to The Waterfront Vancouver after several area residents called 911 to report hearing gunshots. Vallandingham also called to report the shooting, according to a search warrant affidavit.
He was subsequently detained and taken to the Vancouver Police Department’s West Precinct for questioning.
Responding officers found a man, later identified as Bossy, suffering from gunshot wounds, sitting in the driver’s seat of Vallandingham’s Chrysler. Police pulled Bossy from the car and attempted life-saving measures, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the affidavit.
McCarty’s letter notes that a large knife fell from Bossy’s right-side pocket as he was moved, and he was wearing blue rubber gloves.
Vallandingham was delivering newspapers in the area, police said, and left his vehicle unlocked and running while he went to make a delivery at the RiverWest Building, 700 Waterfront Way.
He told police he returned to his car after hearing his door shut. As he went to open his driver’s door, he saw a man sitting inside, he said. He drew his concealed weapon and pointed it at the man before firing what he estimated to be three to four rounds, the affidavit states.
Vallandingham said he then “covered” near the public restrooms at the waterfront. He said he recalled hearing a man yell he “murdered him!” according to the affidavit.
That man was identified as Bossy’s associate Justin Neighbours, who told police that after the two had used methamphetamine, he drove Bossy to the waterfront to use the public restroom. They parked near the restroom, he said, and another car pulled up nearby.
Bossy told Neighbours he was going to steal the car, Neighbours told police. He said he told Bossy it was not a “good idea,” but Bossy approached the vehicle anyway, according to the affidavit.
Neighbours said he then saw someone return to the vehicle and draw a firearm. Neighbours began to slowly drive away, he said, but stopped when he heard shots. He got out and yelled at the shooter before driving away, he told police.
The summary of the letter states that Vallandingham believed his life was in danger when he fired his gun, and Bossy was in the act of committing a felony crime while armed with a deadly weapon.
“Mr. Vallandingham unexpectedly encountered a stranger inside his vehicle in the darkness of early morning. These circumstances would cause alarm to any reasonable person,” the letter reads in part.
“Mr. Vallandingham’s fear was not unreasonable under the circumstances. Mr. Vallandingham stated that he was acting to defend his own life from a criminal threat. We do not believe that we can prove otherwise, beyond a reasonable doubt,” it concludes.