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News / Clark County News

Vancouver man, 18, gets 366 days in parking lot shooting that wounded one person

A fight involving dozens of people precipitated the shooting near the YMCA in east Vancouver

By Becca Robbins, Columbian staff reporter
Published: April 10, 2024, 4:12pm

An 18-year-old Vancouver man was sentenced Wednesday to a year and a day in prison for shooting at a large group of people and wounding a man during a June fight in the parking lot of the Clark County Family YMCA in east Vancouver.

Dekson Fred pleaded guilty in Clark County Superior Court to second-degree assault. He was originally charged with first-degree assault, drive-by shooting and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Deputy Prosecutor Mike Vaughn said evidentiary issues made the case difficult to prove and prompted the reduction in charges.

Surveillance video of the shooting shows there were multiple guns at the large fight in the parking lot, defense attorney John Terry said, and more than one muzzle flash could be seen in the footage.

Judge John Fairgrieve ordered Fred undergo anger management, substance abuse and mental health treatment and surrender any firearms.

Vancouver police officers, Clark County sheriff’s deputies and Washington State Patrol troopers responded about 9:20 p.m. June 11 to the 11300 block of Northeast 51st Circle for reports of a disturbance.

Multiple people called 911 to report there was a loud argument in the parking lot, followed by gunshots and people screaming. Callers also reported seeing a silver sedan speeding away from the scene, according to a probable cause affidavit.

As one officer arrived, they saw a sedan speeding away, honking and driving recklessly. The officer noted there were 60 to 70 people in the parking lot, and they found several spent 9 mm shell casings. There was a bullet hole in the windshield of a pickup, court records state.

An 11-year-old boy said he was inside the YMCA when Fred called him an anti-gay slur. The boy’s uncle heard Fred and struck him with his elbow, the affidavit states.

In the parking lot, Fred was still upset about the incident, the boy said. The boy’s relative, Jonathan Alpet, told Fred to calm down, and Fred got into the backseat of a silver sedan. As the sedan drove away, Fred pulled out a handgun and fired multiple shots, striking Alpet. Police said someone drove Alpet to a hospital as officers were arriving, according to the affidavit. He suffered not life-threatening wounds.

Officers then responded to the 4900 block of Northeast Plomondon Street for reports of a disturbance between Fred and his mother. She reportedly told police her son was involved in the shooting. After officers and SWAT surrounded the residence, Fred walked out and was arrested without incident, according to the affidavit.