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News / Clark County News

Vancouver police fatally shot a man near the Vancouver waterfront; it started with an aggressive dog call

The identity of the man shot by Vancouver police has not been released; fate of his dog is undecided

By Shari Phiel, Columbian staff writer
Published: June 10, 2024, 2:56pm
Updated: June 14, 2024, 3:14pm

Vancouver police fatally shot a man Saturday afternoon near the waterfront after responding to a call about an aggressive dog.

Police were called about 1:45 p.m. to the 100 block of Southeast Columbia Way, just east of the Interstate 5 Bridge. The caller said a man was letting his German shepherd dog run loose, and the dog had already bitten one person. The caller also said the man appeared to have a firearm and was walking on a trail near the Columbia River.

Officers located the man and his dog near Columbia Way and Columbia Street, according to a Vancouver Police Department news release. Two officers approached the man who then appeared to point a firearm at them. One of the officers shot the man.

The man, whose name will be released later by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office, was pronounced dead at the scene, the news release said.

The names of the officers have not been released. As is standard in police shootings, the officers are now on critical incident leave.

The dog, which remained aggressive after its owner was shot, was secured to a large garbage bin. Dispatch was notified that one person was seeking medical treatment from bite wounds, the news release said.

Sam Ellingson, spokesman for the Humane Society for Southwest Washington, confirmed Monday the dog had been transferred there after the shooting. As for what would happen next, whether the dog would be evaluated or possibly euthanized, Ellingson said the agency had no further comment.

Donna Goddard, manager of the county’s animal protection and control department, said while the county agency wasn’t involved, there are policies in place for incidents involving dog bites.

“Generally speaking, when a dog bites someone and the bite is actually reported, the dog would be required to be isolated on a 10-day rabies quarantine. If we were to get a report of a dog bite, we would do an investigation and take into consideration the circumstances of the incident and any history,” she said. “We would then determine whether the dog should be declared dangerous and proceed through that process.”

Goddard said there are several outcomes possible, depending on the circumstances. In the case of a deceased owner, she said it may be decided the dog cannot be rehabilitated if it has a history of aggressive behavior or biting. In those cases, it’s possible the dog may have to be euthanized, she said.

The Southwest Washington Independent Investigation Response Team, led by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, will investigate the shooting. Video footage from the officers’ body-worn cameras will be released at a later time.

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