Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Feb. 7, 2023

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Arrest made in Fourth Plain shooting, crash

By , Columbian staff reporter

A Vancouver man was arrested after police say he shot another man in the torso Tuesday afternoon while confronting him about damage to his car.

Aaron W. Baxter, 34, was booked into the Clark County Jail on suspicion of first-degree assault. He appeared on the allegation Wednesday in Clark County Superior Court.

The incident was reported at 4:23 p.m. in the 7600 block of East Fourth Plain Boulevard, east of Northeast Andresen Road. Vancouver police officers arrived and found a car in the ditch, according to a police news release. The driver, identified in court records as Richard Rayner, 38, had been shot in the torso, causing the car to crash.

Rayner was taken to a hospital for evaluation and treatment of injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, police said.

Court records indicate Baxter and his girlfriend were seen on surveillance video leaving the SeaMar apartment building at 7803 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd., and walking toward a car occupied by Rayner.

A witness reported hearing Baxter or his girlfriend say something like, “Let’s go do this,” while walking toward Rayner’s car. A short time later, the witness heard a gunshot and saw Baxter and the woman run back to the apartment building, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The witness told police she saw Baxter had an extended magazine sticking out of his pants. She also said she heard someone shout from a window at the SeaMar apartments, “Did you get him?” Then, she heard someone reply, “Yeah,” court records state.

SeaMar employees identified Baxter and the unit he lives in, court records state. With the help of the SWAT team, Baxter eventually surrendered and was arrested without incident, police said.

Officers said Baxter’s girlfriend told them she and Baxter confronted Rayner in the parking lot because he’d damaged their vehicle the day before, according to court records.

In interviews with police, Baxter denied doing anything other than going to work that day, court records state.

When officers searched Baxter’s apartment, they found ammunition and other firearm-related items. They also found a gun outside of the apartment, which Baxter’s girlfriend claimed was hers, according to the affidavit.

The Vancouver Police Department Major Crimes Unit is continuing the investigation.