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News / Clark County News

Affidavits: Brush Prairie man fatally shot by Clark County sheriff’s deputies after sexual assault

Body cam video shows Brush Prairie resident pulling gun on deputies

By Becca Robbins, Columbian staff reporter
Published: March 23, 2024, 6:02am

The Brush Prairie man fatally shot by Clark County sheriff’s deputies Feb. 20 had allegedly sexually assaulted a distant relative while armed with a gun over the course of hours, court records state.

In search warrant affidavits filed this month in Clark County Superior Court, investigators sought to search Jonathan “Scott” Gale’s phone, his car and the RV he was living in at 12521 N.E. 152nd Ave. for evidence of first-degree rape, unlawful imprisonment, possession of an explosive device and unlawful possession of a firearm.

The affidavits say Gale, 53, connected with the relative last summer. The woman said they spoke over the phone, and Gale stopped by her Oregon house about 3 p.m. Feb. 19. He invited her to come see where he was living, and she agreed. He then drove her to the Brush Prairie property where his RV was parked behind a two-story house owned by Regina Gamage and Mark Basham, according to the affidavit.

When the woman went inside his RV, Gale armed himself and bound her limbs, the woman said. He then sexually assaulted her, court records state.

At some point, Gale allowed the woman to call her daughter, investigators said. The daughter suspected something was wrong and called 911 to request that deputies check on her mother. The sheriff’s office previously said the woman told her daughter she was being held against her will and there were “guns everywhere.”

When deputies arrived at 1:17 a.m., they encountered Gale and the woman outside of his RV, according to a video compilation of body camera footage released by the sheriff’s office. Gale can be heard on the video telling deputies they were waiting for them to arrive.

After a deputy talked with the woman, deputies tried to detain Gale, but he can be seen on the video pulling what appears to be a firearm from his waistband. Three deputies then fatally shot Gale, the video shows.

The woman was taken to an area hospital to undergo a sexual assault examination, the affidavit states.

The Vancouver Police Department is leading the shooting investigation as a part of the Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team. The sheriff’s office is investigating the sexual assault allegations.

Investigators said they found two guns and a cellphone near Gale’s body. His phone was in a case that was lined with aluminum foil, court records state.

Gale had a felony conviction in Oregon for possession of a controlled substance, which would prohibit him from having firearms, according to the affidavits.

When investigators searched Gale’s RV, they found several explosive devices they said appeared to be pipe bombs. The regional explosives unit responded and found 10 of those devices inside. Detectives wrote in the search warrant affidavits that “the number of explosive devices found is concerning to federal agents with the (Bureau of) Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.”

Detectives wrote in the affidavits that they did not yet know whether the devices contained real or imitation explosives.

The Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team is continuing to investigate the shooting and will refer its findings to the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review. In a Tuesday update, the team said it was still waiting on DNA and firearms analysis results from the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab.