Friday, November 26, 2021
Nov. 26, 2021

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Family of east Vancouver man shot by Clark County deputies mourns

Kfin Karuo's brother says stress of situation played role in their father's death

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

Kfin Karuo’s younger brother, Klast Karuo, will remember his brother as a great dancer.

Kfin Karuo of Vancouver was identified Tuesday as the man fatally shot by Clark County sheriff’s deputies early Sunday morning after the agency said he was armed with a handgun.

Kfin Karuo was the second youngest of nine siblings, and Klast is the youngest, he said. He called his brother’s shooting “devastating.”

In the wake of Kfin’s death, the Karuo family has rallied together — especially around his mother — and particularly after his father, Keichiro Karuo, died later that same day.

Much of the extended Karuo family lives at or near the Alder Creek Apartments in east Vancouver, just down the street from where sheriff’s deputies forced the SUV Kfin was driving to a stop.

Klast Karuo said that after his father heard gunshots and saw Kfin’s SUV resting on a berm along Northeast 49th Street, the stress of not knowing whether his son was dead or alive took a toll. Klast said the family was told that Keichiro’s heart stopped. Klast Karuo said he watched paramedics try to resuscitate his father before they took him to the hospital in an ambulance.

Now the family is mourning the loss of both men.

Klast said their remains will be sent to be buried by family members in Chuuk, in the Federated States of Micronesia. Klast said about a third of the family is in Vancouver, while another third remains in Chuuk and the rest of them are in Hawaii.

The large number of family members in the area has been a constant presence, sleeping over and keeping each other company. Klast said his mother is rarely alone.

“It makes it easier to have everyone around,” he said.

Klast said those who knew Kfin called him Kdrop, which was the name written on signs at a red and gold memorial where his car had stood when he was shot.

Klast said police wouldn’t tell him whether his brother shot at them first because the shooting is under investigation. He knows his brother had run from police before, but said Kfin wasn’t the type to try to fight off police.

In a Tuesday update, the Vancouver Police Department said Karuo pointed a gun at deputies before they shot him. When police found Karuo, dead, he still had the gun in his hand and his finger on the trigger, according to Vancouver police.

Kfin Karuo was convicted in 2012 of second-degree robbery and fourth-degree assault. Deputies said they’d initially tried to pull him over on suspicion of first-degree assault with a gun but have not released details about the alleged assault.

The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled his cause of death as a gunshot wound to the torso. Two sheriff’s deputies were placed on critical incident leave following standard protocol, according to Vancouver police.

Klast Karuo described his brother as “super outgoing” and “always doing stuff for other people,” which he said sometimes got him into trouble.

He said his brother had tried to change his life.

“I know that’s not how he wanted his last moments,” he said.

The biggest thing he hopes those who knew his brother remember about him, Klast said, is that “he was a really good dancer.”

On Monday, Klast posted videos on social media of his brother dancing. He said his brother always had unique moves and that he could get down to any type of music.

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