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News / Clark County News

Handgun recovered after Clark County deputies killed carjacking suspect, will be sent for testing

Benjamin Woods was fatally shot at the American Legion hall in Salmon Creek

By Shari Phiel, Columbian staff writer
Published: April 26, 2024, 2:17pm

A handgun connected with the suspect in a series of carjackings who was later fatally shot by Clark County sheriff’s deputies has been sent to the Washington State Patrol for testing.

The April 13 shooting remains under investigation by the Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team, led by the Vancouver Police Department.

The handgun was recovered near the suspect, later identified as Benjamin Woods, 41, of Prineville, Ore., according to a Friday press release. Results from the testing are pending.

A final report from the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office is also pending.

The gun can be seen on the floor near Woods in body-worn camera footage released earlier this month.

Sheriff’s deputies had responded earlier in the day to carjackings in Hazel Dell and Salmon Creek before confronting Woods at 11:30 a.m. that Saturday morning in the parking lot of the American Legion hall, 14011 N.E. 20th Ave.

Body cam footage shows Woods pulling what appears to be a gun from his pocket before running into a rear entrance of the American Legion hall.

Clark County sheriff’s deputies Jim Payne and Michael Gonzalez confronted Woods, who stood in the doorway of the bathroom and appeared to raise a gun.

Payne and Gonzalez both fire. Video footage shows a gun on the floor after Woods crumpled.

Detectives from the response team, including detectives from the Camas Police Department, have conducted more than 50 witness interviews of people who were inside the American Legion hall playing bingo, along with staff who were present that day.

Once the investigation is completed, the case will be forwarded to the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review.