Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Jan. 31, 2023

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Investigators continue probe into Jan. 9 fatal police shooting in east Vancouver

By , Columbian staff reporter

The Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team is continuing its probe into the Jan. 9 fatal police shooting of a 45-year-old man in east Vancouver, before forwarding the investigation to the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review.

A Friday news release said the investigative response team, led by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, is awaiting lab results and more interviews.

Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik said once his office receives the investigation, he plans to send it to a statewide panel of prosecutors for review.

Vancouver police had responded 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. Police said a man confronted them with a knife outside, and officers shot him after he could not be subdued with a less-lethal 40 mm device, according to the Vancouver Police Department.

Luis A. Ku Huitzil died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office. His death was ruled a homicide, meaning it resulted from another person’s deliberate action. The ruling does not make any judgments about criminal culpability.

The four Vancouver police officers involved, identified as Monica Hernandez, 42, Timothy Pfeifer, 41, Christopher Bohatch, 37, and Ryne Briley, 32, were placed on critical incident leave, which is standard protocol in a police shooting.

None of them were wearing body cameras. The Vancouver Police Department had ended its 60-day trial period for a camera vendor early at the end of December.

Assistant metro editor Jessica Prokop contributed to this report.