VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Four shootings involving Vancouver police have ended in 3 deaths since the beginning of the year.
The first happened Feb. 5 when a police chase resulted in a shootout between 23-year-old Erkinson Bossy and officers with the Vancouver Police Department. The incident shut down I-84 for hours. Bossy survived his injuries.
The following 3 shootings involving VPD officers ended in death.
On Feb. 19, police officers shot and killed 16-year-old Clayton Joseph. Officials said Clayton was waving around a knife and refused commands to drop it.
A week later on Feb. 28, VPD officers fatally shot Michael Pierce. Authorities said the 29-year-old was standing on a street corner, waving guns and pointing them at passing cars. Pierce refused officers’ commands and also “pointed a pistol at officers multiple time,” officials said. Investigators later said the guns Pierce had were replica pistols.
On Thursday, VPD again shot and killed a person they said was armed with a handgun. Detectives said they were trying to make a traffic stop as part of a drug trafficking investigation but the driver — whom they said was a wanted gang member — was “uncooperative.” Family members later identified the driver as Carlos Hunter.
Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office said the 43-year-old died of multiple gunshot wounds to the torso.
Hunter had a criminal history, including felony convictions, but his sisters told KOIN 6 News their brother hadn’t been affiliated with a gang for years.
“You shouldn’t have to kill everybody,” said Hunter’s sister, Pam Hunter. “Bullets work if you shoot someone in the leg or arm. I just don’t see why you have to kill everybody.”
Vancouver police said they incorporate de-escalation techniques during year-round training but don’t have a training solely focused on de-escalation.
The VPD had 2 officer-involved shootings in 2018.