A deputy with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office shot and killed an off-duty officer during a pursuit of a suspected armed robber.
Law enforcement officials confirmed that a deputy shot and killed Vancouver police officer Donald Sahota, 52, late Saturday night.
Deputies were pursuing someone suspected of robbing a convenience store at gunpoint near Orchards, Washington, according to a press release from the Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team. The suspect allegedly fled the scene in a stolen vehicle and headed toward Battle Ground, where police used spike strips to disable the vehicle.
The suspect left the vehicle and continued fleeing on foot, the release said, until he arrived at Sahota’s home.
Police say Sahota armed himself with a gun and went outside to detain the suspect, but the suspect stabbed him and got away.
Responding officers arrived on the scene and, within seconds, the deputy fired his gun, hitting Sahota.
Sahota received medical aid at the scene, but died, according to officials.
The armed robbery suspect was taken into custody. Police did not immediately release the suspect’s name.
Ed Baxter, who lives near the shooting’s location a few miles west of Battle Ground, said he was watching TV Saturday evening when he heard cop cars “flying down” the road.
“I said, ‘What’s going on?’ [because] there’s nothing down there,” Baxter said. “It’s a dead end.”
Baxter and another neighbor said they saw at least a dozen cop cars, fire trucks, and ambulances. Baxter said he knew Sahota, the off-duty officer who died, as a neighbor. Baxter said he helped him with yard work in the past.
“I’m feeling a little emotional,” Baxter said. “I didn’t know him a lot, but every Christmas, we exchanged gifts.”
Sahota had worked with the Vancouver Police Department since 2014 and had been a police officer with the Gresham and Port of Portland departments before that. According to VPD, Sahota had worked with the agency in the patrol and training units. He leaves behind a wife and two children.
“I hope the community will join me as we hold Officer Sahota’s family and our law enforcement community in our thoughts and hearts,” Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle said in a statement. “To honor Officer Sahota, all flags at City of Vancouver facilities will be lowered to half-staff.”
The incident is being treated as an officer-involved shooting and is being investigated by the Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team.
This report will be updated as more information becomes available.