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News / Clark County News

Vancouver police chase into Portland ends with suspects crashing into MAX train

By Amy Libby, Columbian Web Editor, and
Jessica Prokop, Columbian Local News Editor
Published: June 16, 2023, 7:35am
5 Photos
Vancouver police chased a stolen vehicle into Oregon, where it crashed into a MAX train before the three suspects were arrested.
Vancouver police chased a stolen vehicle into Oregon, where it crashed into a MAX train before the three suspects were arrested. (Vancouver Police Department) Photo Gallery

A drive-by shooting in east Vancouver and ensuing police chase ended with a stolen vehicle pinned by a MAX train after crossing the Steel Bridge in Portland.

Vancouver police responded about 3 p.m. Thursday to a report of a drive-by shooting at Alder Creek Apartments, 11716 N.E. 49th St., in the Image neighborhood, according to a statement from the agency. No one was injured.

Officers were able to get a description of the suspect vehicle, but no suspects were found at that time.

Shortly before 6 p.m., Vancouver police responded to a call nearby — in the 4600 block of Northeast 112th Avenue — for a suspicious vehicle. Callers told law enforcement the vehicle’s occupants were wearing ski masks and holding rifles, the police department said.

According to Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp, it was the same suspect vehicle from the earlier drive-by shooting.

“Police located the vehicle, which had been reported stolen out of Portland recently, and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. The vehicle made no attempt to stop for police and a pursuit ensued,” according to the Vancouver police statement.

Vancouver police chased the stolen car into Oregon. Officers with the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct were notified about 6:15 p.m. that the chase had entered Portland’s jurisdiction and assisted with the pursuit, according to a Portland police statement.

While crossing Portland’s Steel Bridge, the suspects tossed two firearms out the window, Vancouver police said, but the weapons landed on the sidewalk and were recovered.

Portland police said the suspect vehicle then crashed into a MAX train near Northwest Third Avenue and Glisan Street. Vancouver police said the car was pinned between the MAX train and sidewalk.

Portland police from the North Precinct, Central Precinct and Focused Intervention Team, as well as K-9 officers, assisted Vancouver police with taking three people into custody.

No one on the MAX train was injured, but the crash caused transit delays in the area.

TriMet officials said on Twitter there were extensive delays for Green, Orange and Yellow Line MAX trains. Shuttle buses were deployed between the Interstate/Rose Quarter and Union Station/Northwest Fifth and Glisan stops, as well as between Union Station and Portland State University.

The suspect vehicle, a black 2016 Kia Optima reportedly stolen June 11, was also recovered, according to Portland police.

Zachary A. Bruce, 27, of Portland was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center in Oregon on suspicion of two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm; unlawful possession of machine guns, certain short-barreled firearms and firearms silencers; attempting to elude police; unauthorized use of a motor vehicle; possession of a stolen motor vehicle; and reckless driving.

A 16-year-old boy from Vancouver was booked into the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center in Portland on suspicion of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, unlawful possession of a loaded firearm in public, unlawful possession of firearms, unlawful entry into a vehicle and first-degree disorderly conduct.

A 17-year-old boy from Vancouver was booked into the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center on suspicion of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, unlawful possession of firearms and unlawful possession of a loaded firearm in public.

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Anyone with information about the incident in Portland and who has not contacted police, should email crimetips@police.portlandoregon.gov and reference case number 23-157832.

The Vancouver Police Department Safe Streets Task Force and Neighborhood Response Team are continuing the investigation.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office, the Multnomah County, Ore., Sheriff’s Office, Portland Transit Police and the Portland Police Bureau assisted.

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