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Dec. 1, 2023

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Suspect in fatal drive-by shooting in Vancouver facing murder charge

Bail set at $2.5 million in what prosecutors said was a targeted attack

The Columbian

A judge set bail Wednesday at $2.5 million for an Ocean Park man accused in a fatal Vancouver shooting that prosecutors are calling a targeted attack.

Yana N. Cook, 24, appeared in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree murder and drive-by shooting. He is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 30.

The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the victim Wednesday as 26-year-old Branden Lombardo of Vancouver. 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.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Lauren Boyd said Cook has had 11 warrants for his arrest since 2017 and been the subject of four criminal protection orders. She also recited a lengthy criminal history involving firearm-related convictions.

Vancouver police responded at 8:07 p.m. Nov. 6 to what was initially reported as a single-vehicle crash in the 6500 block of Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard. Officers learned the driver of a crashed Chevrolet Malibu, later identified as Lombardo, had been pulled out of the car by a man who was driving behind him, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Officers also learned Lombardo suffered a head wound that was not consistent with a car crash, and there was a bullet hole in the driver’s window, court records state.

Medical personnel determined Lombardo suffered a gunshot wound to the head and took him to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, court records state.

Police observed on surveillance video an Infiniti FX35 park in the lot of apartment complexes at 6317 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd., and reposition several times. Investigators learned the Infiniti was associated with Cook. Lombardo’s Chevrolet can later be seen in the same lot, the affidavit states.

The video shows Cook exiting the Infiniti and getting into the passenger’s seat, the affidavit states. A man not yet identified by police is seen getting into the driver’s seat.

When the Chevrolet left the parking lot, officers said the Infiniti followed shortly after without its headlights on in the dark.

The Infiniti was captured on C-Tran surveillance video speeding up to catch the Chevrolet. As the vehicles reached the intersection of Northeast 65th Avenue and Fourth Plain Boulevard, police said a flash consistent with that from the muzzle of a gun could be seen from the passenger’s side of the Infiniti, according to court records.

The Chevrolet then veered to the right and crashed into fencing and trees near the bus stop, the affidavit states. The Infiniti kept traveling east on Fourth Plain Boulevard.

The affidavit states, “Based on the video surveillance, it appeared that Yana Cook was both waiting for and targeting Branden Lombardo.”

Investigators said they did not know the relationship between Cook and Lombardo and did not know the identity of the driver of the Infiniti.

Officers found a single 5.7×28 mm casing at the scene of the shooting, which the affidavit states is consistent with a round for a .223 rifle.

Cook appeared the next day in Raymond for a probation check-in with the Washington State Department of Corrections. He was seen exiting the Infiniti associated with the shooting, court records state.

Vancouver police said he was arrested Tuesday in Raymond.

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