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News / Clark County News

Clark County sheriff’s deputies remain on leave as investigation into Brush Prairie fatal shooting continues

By Becca Robbins, Columbian staff reporter
Published: February 22, 2024, 6:29pm

Authorities have not released any new information since Tuesday in the investigation of five Clark County sheriff’s deputies involved in the fatal shooting of a man at a Brush Prairie house.

The Southwest Washington Independent Investigation Team, led by the Vancouver Police Department, is investigating the shooting, which was reported at 1:24 a.m. Tuesday at 12521 N.E. 152nd Ave.

The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office has not yet released the identity of the man who was killed.

Deputies’ body-worn cameras captured the incident, the sheriff’s office said, and the footage will be released, but the agency has not said when that will be.

The five deputies were placed on critical incident leave, which is standard protocol. The investigation team has not released their names.

‘Extra steps’

Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp said Thursday investigators may provide more information today.

She said the regional team typically releases a second update between three and five days after the initial incident notice, but the speed can vary based on the pace of the investigation. The state mandates that the team release information at least once a week.

“With the independent investigation process, there are additional requirements that are not part of other investigations,” Kapp said in an email to The Columbian. “Those extra steps can add some time in the beginning to make sure all the legal requirements are met.”

Sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Chris Skidmore declined Thursday to release further information about the agency’s investigation into the incident that led to the shooting, citing the independent investigative team’s manual. The manual states, “The involved agency is prohibited from releasing any information that could affect the integrity of the criminal investigation.”

Deputies responded to the Brush Prairie home at 12:05 a.m. to check on a woman after her daughter called 911 to express concerns about her safety. Deputies suspected the woman was being held against her will by a male family member, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

When deputies arrived, they tried to detain the man, but he pulled out what appeared to be a firearm, and deputies shot him, according to the sheriff’s office. They provided him aid until medical personnel arrived and later pronounced the man dead, the news release states.

The woman was taken to an area hospital to be evaluated. Officials have not identified the woman or indicated whether she was injured. No deputies were injured, the sheriff’s office said.

Clark County property records show the house is in a trust belonging to Regina Gamage and Mark Basham. The property also appears to be the site of Gamage’s counseling services and a hypnotherapy practice belonging to Basham called Heart Bridge Hypnosis.

Once the investigation is complete, it will be sent to the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review.