Vancouver officer critical; 2 suspects in custody

Both suspects in custody, officials said

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN 6) — A Vancouver motorcycle officer was critically wounded after being shot multiple times in the area of 162nd Avenue and SE 34th Street in Vancouver around 11:30 a.m. Monday.

Two suspects are in custody, authorities said. One person was taken immediately, and the second person was captured about two hours later.

How it began

The suspects wanted for shooting a Vancouver officer crashed this truck into a tree about 4 blocks from the shooting, June 30, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
The suspects wanted for shooting a Vancouver officer crashed this truck into a tree about 4 blocks from the shooting, June 30, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

The incident began as a traffic stop and both suspects were in the same vehicle, which checked out as a stolen vehicle. When the officer approached, at least one of the suspects began firing.

They fled and shortly after crashed into a tree. Both of the suspects got out of the car and fled. One suspect was caught almost immediately, while the other was caught a while later.

Two passersby stopped and gave aid to the wounded officer, officials said in an afternoon news briefing.

One man told KOIN 6 News he thought about taking the officer’s helmet off, “but I didn’t want to make matters worse.”

The name of the wounded officer will not be released at this time, authorities said. Neither will the name of either suspect.

A source told KOIN 6 News that the officer was shot three times – once in the leg, in the jaw and in the chest. He remains in critical condition.

The hunt for the second suspect

About a mile-and-a-half away from where the car crashed, police surrounded the Burton School bus barn and the adjoining neighborhood at 128th and SE 33rd to capture the second suspect.

At least two SWAT trucks responded to the scene to help Vancouver police and other agencies make the arrest.

The suspects apparently crashed the pickup truck they were driving into a tree about four blocks from where the officer was shot.

Adam Wall briefly spoke with a suspect in the shooting of a Vancouver police officer as the suspect fled the scene, June 30, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Adam Wall briefly spoke with a suspect in the shooting of a Vancouver police officer as the suspect fled the scene, June 30, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

Adam Wall, who lives nearby, told KOIN 6 News he briefly talked with one of the suspects.

“We were in the backyard, we heard screeching tires and a collision,” Wall said. “As we came out, we saw a man semi-jogging down the road, in his 40’s blue jeans, either Navy blue or black shirt, said he wasn’t the driver, just kept going.”

Wall said the truck’s driver ran through Diamond Park to the bus barn and was throwing what looked like cigarettes out of his pocket as he ran.

Some children that were near the school were taken inside and locked down to keep them safe while the manhunt was in progress.

Kim Kapp, a spokesperson for Vancouver police, said a call went out to the houses in the manhunt area, warning neighbors to stay indoors.

Eric Frank with CRESA, Clark County dispatch, confirmed that they utilized their Emergency Community Notification System (ECNS) to issue an alert around 11:55 a.m. An “all clear” message was later issued around 1:30 p.m.

Another crash

A police car responding to the shooting was involved in a separate crash at SR 500 and Stapleton Road, officials said.

Statement

In a statement released Monday afternoon, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said: “A police officer was shot in the line of duty today in Vancouver, Wash., and our prayers go out to him, to his family, and to the Vancouver Police Department. We have learned that no community in our nation is immune to the epidemic of illegal gun violence, which has become a public health crisis. The City of Portland stands ready to assist our counterparts in Vancouver in whatever way we may.”

KOIN 6 News reporters Lisa Balick, Jennifer Dowling and Joel Iwanaga contributed to this report.

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