VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — A man suspected of stealing a car fled from police and ran into an occupied Vancouver apartment before being shot to death by police.
The suspect, Justin A. Burton, crashed the stolen car in into a minibus in the parking lot of the Vancouver Pointe Senior Village on NE 66th Avenue Friday morning.
A neighbor told KOIN she heard a commotion, yelling and what she believes were gunshots before a car sped away around 5 a.m.
The driver then ran through the lobby, police said, and into a nearby apartment complex. He burst into a 2nd-floor apartment with a father and 4 kids inside.
Police said Burton, 25, did not know the apartment residents and he tried to hide in a back bedroom. They believed he was armed.
“Based on the urgency of the situation, the family being in there with this potentially what we believed to be an armed suspect, based on the situation and the information that we had before, a patrol made entry to the apartment,” Vancouver police spokesperson Kim Kapp told KOIN 6 News. “One Vancouver police officer located the suspect in a bedroom and fired a shot,” killing the suspect.
Burton died from a gunshot wound to the chest, the medical examiner determined.
The officer involved in the shooting, Ed Letarte, is on Critical Incident Leave, standard procedure in similar cases. The 53-year-old has been with the Vancouver Police Department since 1998, authorities said.
No one else was hurt and the investigation continues.
KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.