Clark County Sheriff Chuck Atkins said: The delegates shot and killed a 21-year-old black young man during a drug investigation in suburban Vancouver after he walked and opened fire at police.
Atkins said delegates shot back, killing Kevin E. Peterson Jr. by Camas.
Detectives of a regional drug task force are conducting an investigation at section 6800 of the 99 Northeast Highway just before 6 p.m. Thursday, Atkins said. During that investigation, Peterson fled and shot at employees as he entered the parking lot of a bank, Atkins said.
Peterson̵7;s gun was “observed” at the scene of the shooting, police chief said. He did not say clearly.
Atkins said the Southwest Washington Regional Independent Investigation Team is investigating the shooting. He didn’t reveal any other details after reading a short statement.
Peterson was on the phone with his partner, Olivia Selto, at the time he was shot. Selto said Peterson was running in the phone call and then she heard several gunshots before the line went silent. She said she did not know the circumstances that led to the fatal encounter.
Shooting took place near Quality Inn and the Bank of America on a highway near the intersection with Northeast 68 Street in Hazel Dell in Clark County, unincorporated. That 99 segment is surrounded by strip malls and auto shops.
Nearly five hours passed before the Sheriff’s Office initially made its public announcement. Officials later did not reveal that the person shot was killed.
Atkins on Friday declined to respond to questions, including why there were delays in making public announcements, how many delegates participated, who they were or how many shots they fired.
Peterson’s father Kevin Peterson said he waited overnight at the shooting scene but “had no chance to identify my son” until almost 12 hours later. He said he was not told which agency was involved and that he had not received information about what happened.
“It’s not like a kid has a problem,” said the father. “He’s a good kid. He has no records, nothing. It’s sad that this happened to him.
He said his son, one of six siblings, played basketball and soccer in high school. He was loved by his family, Peterson said.
Father and son were close and last talked on Wednesday. Peterson said he told his son he was proud of his son.
“He stood up and became a man, taking care of his child,” said the father.
A witness said he was driving on Highway 99 when several police cars crashed into the bank parking lot. The man just wanted to be identified by his name, Dan, as he was concerned about backlash from the public.
He said there was a Negro man in the parking lot, “just around, looking worried.” The officers got up, got out of the car, pulled out their guns, and quickly fired.
“And suddenly we started hearing ‘pop pop pop pop pop’,” he said. “We don’t understand how quickly it happened.”
He said the man shot “looked really scared” when the police arrived and appeared to have his hand in his pocket. The photography, he said, was almost “instantaneous”.
Taylor Lappier, who was driving in the area, did not hear gunshots but said he saw “about 25 officers with guns and / or riot shields” around the bank as he approached. school, including Vancouver police officers.
Selto said Kevin Peterson Jr called her on Thursday night “running and being scared”.
“I don’t know what happened except he was running and I heard more than 15 gunshots and heard him fall,” she said in a message to The Oregonian / OregonLive. “I told him I loved him as many times as I could and he said it again.” She said he made “some sound of pain and that’s it”.
She said the phone was silent for about six minutes. Then the police picked it up, she said.
“It hurts me,” she wrote. The couple already have a baby girl, Kailiah Peterson.
Demonstrators gathered early on Friday and throughout the day at the site of the shooting and a vigil was scheduled after sunset as some disparaged the death of a black man. another under the hands of the police.
The sheriff pledged that he would work to ensure “a completely and thoroughly independent decision of what happened, how it happened and what can be learned from this incident. “
He also called for “because there is a respectful respect and respect for the loss of life in this regard.”
“There is always the possibility of misinformation, suspicion, and confusion – and there may be people who want to seed doubt,” he said. “I emphasize that we will all promptly find out what is legal and / or illegal, what is right and / or not right and that we as an agency and community can Learn nothing from this matter. “
US Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Clark County, said she was “gathering information” about the shooting. “I urge all of us to maintain peace and nonviolence as we learn about the circumstances surrounding this incident,” she said on Twitter.
Carolyn Long, Beutler’s Democratic rival for the chair, said Southwest Washington “must come together peacefully with the goal of fairness and equality for all members of our community like us. worked for months. Black’s life is also worth it. This is not a political statement, it is a fact. “
Jake Thompson is Peterson’s high school friend. The couple graduated from Union High School in Vancouver. Thompson said Peterson moved to Vancouver from Portland after middle school.
Peterson is a beloved student with many friends in Portland and Vancouver, he said. He graduated in 2017.
He said Peterson would love to have a daughter. Thompson, who lives in New York City, said: “He’s very excited to be a father to a daughter.
He said Peterson’s death was quickly overshadowed by politics due to the national movement surrounding the treatment of colored people, but Thompson said he didn’t want Peterson’s life lost in discussions. there.
“Someone’s life isn’t politics,” he said. “Someone’s body is not political. It is a person that everyone cannot get back. It is someone’s father they cannot get back either their boyfriend, son or brother. That is a loss. “
On Friday afternoon, white ballistic markers were glued to a concrete barrier in the parking lot east of the US bank. The branch was recently closed down as part of a company-wide restructuring process.
Daniel Thompson, 26, a resident of the area, brought a bouquet of flowers to the bank and said he had come to pay his respects. He doesn’t know Peterson.
“This happened in our backyard. It could be any of us, ”said Thompson, the black man. “It’s sick.”
“They have to do better,” Thompson said of the police. “Obviously, something needs to change.”
About two dozen people gathered on the sidewalk outside the bank with signs: “Police are violent criminals” “Justice for Black Life” and “Kevin Peterson, Jr.” The event was hosted by Black Lives Matter Vancouver, Washington, founded after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis.
Ryan Welch, 17, a senior at Skyview High School, is one of the group’s co-founders.
“I was disgusting. I was very sad. I’m not surprised, ”Welch said of Peterson’s death. “It could happen here. It happens here. We are paying attention ”.
Reporters from Oregonian / OregonLive Samantha Swindler and Kale Williams contributed to this report.
– Noelle Crombie; firstname.lastname@example.org; 503-276-7184; @noellecrombie