Longview PD Chief: ‘Well aware’ of slain suspect

Henry Stephen Rakoz, 47, was shot multiple times

Investigators at the scene of a fatal shooting involving a domestic violence suspect and Longview police officers, September 4, 2017 (KOIN)
Investigators at the scene of a fatal shooting involving a domestic violence suspect and Longview police officers, September 4, 2017 (KOIN)

LONGVIEW, Wash. (KOIN) – Longview Police Chief Jim Duscha told KOIN 6 News “We’re well aware of the suspect” who was shot and killed by police late Sunday night.

Around 10:20 p.m., police were called to the area of Ocean Beach Highway and 32nd Avenue because of an assault with a weapon. As officers responded, they learned a suspect was walking in the street armed with a shotgun.

Longview PD Chief Jim Duscha, September 4, 2017 (KOIN)
Longview PD Chief Jim Duscha, September 4, 2017 (KOIN)

“Originally it came out as a domestic violence type disturbance or assault,” Duscha said. “Officers were responding to that. They were also told the suspect had fled the house and was armed.”

Officers made contact with the man, later identified as Henry Stephen Rakoz Jr.,  and during that interaction police shot and killed him. Duscha said earlier in the day police visited the same house.

Investigators at the scene of a fatal shooting involving a domestic violence suspect and Longview police officers, September 4, 2017 (KOIN)
Investigators at the scene of a fatal shooting involving a domestic violence suspect and Longview police officers, September 4, 2017 (KOIN)

“We’re well aware of the suspect,” he said.

Paramedics responded to the scene but could not save Rakoz.

The Cowlitz County Coroner’s Office said the 47-year-old man died of multiple gunshot wounds. Toxicology was submitted and is expected back within 2 months.

Two officers are on paid administrative leave. Clark County is investigating rather than Cowlitz County to avoid a potential conflict of interest, and both are standard moves in an officer-involved shooting.

“We feel for the officers, we feel for the suspect’s family,” the chief said. “It’s a sad, sad day but we have to move forward and do our job.”

KOIN 6 News reporter Brent Weisberg contributed to this report.