The incidents occurred on Jan. 29. First, a man, later identified as Segura, showed a pistol and robbed a convenience store in Orchards. Police soon located the getaway car, and chased it toward Battle Ground. After officers used spike strips to flatten its tires, the driver bailed out and ran to a nearby home, which happened to be that of the Sahota family, according to investigators and court records.
A struggle ensued between Segura and Sahota, 52. Segura is accused of stabbing Sahota three times. Moments later, an arriving deputy, identified by investigators as Jonathan Feller, mistakenly shot and killed Sahota, court records say.
The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Sahota died from gunshot wounds to the torso.
Segura allegedly told investigators that he knew Sahota was a police officer, and he thought he had killed Sahota, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The shooting is being investigated by the Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team from Cowlitz County.
Bail reduction asked
Prior to the new charges being filed, Segura’s court-appointed attorney, Neil Cane, filed a motion requesting the court lower Segura’s bail from $5 million to $50,000. Cane wrote that Segura did not kill Sahota and, “the state alleges circumstances in the most obvious charge suggesting an assault 1 or 2 with a knife.”
“We people in Vancouver, WA have been experiencing a wave of civilian killings by local police in this community for the past few years,” Cane wrote. “In this matter, the officer who intended to kill Mr. Segura chose a homeowner, apparently in error. This is a tragedy that yet another police officer killed someone. This tragedy is not to be a basis to prejudice Mr. Segura.”
Cane also requested the case be moved to King County, citing a more diverse population there, the amount of publicity the case has received locally and comments Judge John Fairgrieve made during Segura’s first appearance Jan. 31.
When Fairgrieve set Segura’s bail at $5 million, he said it was “hard to think of a more dangerous series of acts.”
Fairgrieve has since been disqualified from the case, although court records don’t state the reason.
A public memorial service for Sahota was held Feb. 8 at ilani. Hundreds of emergency responder vehicles participated in a procession that followed the officer’s motorcade to the casino.
Sahota is survived by his wife and two children. He had worked with the Vancouver Police Department since April 2014 and was most recently assigned to the training unit, according to the police department.