ME’s report: Cop-shooting suspect hung himself

James Sapp dead from asphyxiation in jail cell suicide

A 2005 mugshot of James Sapp, a suspect in the June 30, 2014 shooting of a Vancouver police officer. (MCSO)
A 2005 mugshot of James Sapp, a suspect in the June 30, 2014 shooting of a Vancouver police officer. (MCSO)

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN 6) — James Sapp, the man who committed suicide in his jail cell after allegedly shooting a Vancouver police officer, hung himself, the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office announced Monday.

Sapp’s exact cause of death was asphyxiation, medical examiner Dr. Dennis Wickham said. Death by suicide was also confirmed.

Sapp, 48, was pronounced dead Friday. A day earlier, Clark County Sheriff’s Office representatives confirmed he had tried to kill himself inside his cell, but offered no details on how he did so or what his condition was.

His family released a statement following his death expressing “their concern and sorrow for the suffering and injuries inflicted on Vancouver Police Officer Dustin Goudschaal and the members of the Vancouver Police Department.”

Goudschaal, a motorcycle officer who had served six years on the Vancouver police force, was shot seven times during a traffic stop June 30.

MORE: Vancouver cop out of the hospital

Sapp, a self-identified white supremacist and member of the Aryan Brotherhood, was the prime suspect in the shooting and was arrested for the crime and the string of events that followed the same day.

EXPOSED: The Northwest’s white supremacy problem

Sapp had pleaded not guilty just three days before his death.

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