A dispute about parking apparently led to Tuesday night’s incident where a gun was fired near a group of children in Vancouver.
The incident prompted a large police response to the Alder Creek Apartments and Townhomes, but no one was wounded.
Jesse A. Roehm, 44, appeared via video Wednesday morning in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of eight counts of first-degree assault and aiming or discharging a firearm.
The confrontation occurred less than a quarter-mile west of where Clark County sheriff’s deputies fatally shot Kfin Karuo, who was in his late 20s, during a high-risk traffic stop as part of an investigation into a previous assault with a firearm.
During the hearing, Roehm interrupted the court as the prosecution laid out the information in the probable cause affidavit.
“I’m not denying that I discharged a firearm,” he said before being cut off.
Judge Suzan Clark set Roehm’s bail at $20,000, citing safety concerns for the public. He is to be arraigned next month.
Units from the Vancouver Police Department, Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Patrol were dispatched at 5:33 p.m. for multiple reports of a disturbance with a weapon at the apartment complex, 11716 N.E. 49th St.
Officers said they learned that several children were playing in the parking lot when Roehm pulled into a parking spot in a Toyota Prius and dinged the door of an adjacent car. The children confronted Roehm, and an argument ensued, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
A group of older juveniles then confronted Roehm, and an unidentified male named “Benson” punched Roehm in the face. Roehm suffered a minor injury to the right side of his face, the affidavit says. (Court records also note that Roehm slipped his handcuffs to the front and banged his head against the police car’s partition following his arrest.)
At one point during his hearing, Roehm interrupted the court and said, “Look what those criminals did to my face.”
Court records state that after he was punched, Roehm wrestled with the male and freed himself. He then ran to his apartment and grabbed a pistol. He returned with the firearm to confront “Benson,” but he could not find him. Roehm allegedly told police he would have shot him.
Roehm was still upset, he said, and yelled at the group of children before firing one round into the ground. He allegedly admitted to pointing the pistol at the crowd of people, court records say.
Multiple parents said their children came running into their apartments, crying and saying a man was outside shooting, according to the affidavit.
It was initially reported that a crowd was throwing rocks at responding law enforcement officers, but Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp said some of the parents of the threatened children had thrown rocks. One threw a rock through the window of Roehm’s residence and then toward the police car that Roehm was driven away in.