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Four Vancouver police officers involved in Jan. 9 fatal shooting in east Vancouver identified

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

The Vancouver Police Department identified four officers Monday who were involved in the fatal shooting of a 45-year-old man on Jan. 9 at an east Vancouver mobile home park.

The involved officers were Monica Hernandez, 42, Timothy Pfeifer, 41, Christopher Bohatch, 37, and Ryne Briley, 32, according to a police department news release. Pfeifer, Bohatch and Briley have been in an officer-involved shooting within the past six years. The four officers were placed on critical incident leave following the shooting, which is standard protocol. The police department did not say how many shots were fired.

Both Hernandez and Pfeifer have been with the Vancouver Police Department for roughly 10 years on various assignments and are both currently assigned to east graveyard patrol. Bohatch was hired in 2016 and Briley in 2017, and both are currently assigned to east swing patrol.

The shooting victim was identified by Vancouver police on Jan. 11 as 45-year-old Luis A. Ku Huitzil. His city of residence is unknown.

On Jan. 9, Vancouver police were called at 12:25 a.m. for a reported disturbance with a weapon at the Sky Ridge Estates mobile home park in the 13200 block of Northeast 59th Street. A resident said a male acquaintance was inside their home armed with knives, according to a police department news release.

The caller and several others in the home, including two children, had locked themselves inside their bedrooms, the news release states. As police responded, it was believed the man had started a fire inside the house. The people inside were able to safely climb through windows to escape as officers arrived, according to a news release.

The suspect was also outside the home and confronted officers with a knife, police said. Officers shot the man after he could not be subdued with a less-lethal 40 mm device, according to the department. He was taken to a local hospital where he died of multiple gunshot wounds.

None of the officers were wearing body cameras. The Vancouver Police Department announced Jan. 10 that its 60-day trial period for a camera vendor ended early at the end of December.

The SW Washington Independent Investigative Response Team, led by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, is investigating the police shooting.

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