Shooting suspect arrested after drone, K-9s deployed

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VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — A drone, two K-9 teams and several law enforcement agencies played a part in arresting a 42-year-old shooting suspect Wednesday night.

Around 7:30 p.m., the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office received a report that a man fired several rounds into the apartments at 2128 46th Ave. in Longview and then fled in a silver SUV or van.

A few minutes later, Kelso police spotted the car, but when they tried to stop it — the car fled. Authorities pursued it south on I-5 before losing sight of it just north of Kalama.

Several agencies, including WSP, Kelso, Kalama, Woodland, BNSF and Vancouver police, helped lock down the area and searched for the suspect.

Deputies deployed a drone with night vision and two K-9 teams to assist. 

Multiple law enforcement agencies helped look for the suspect, Daron T. Knight, on Wednesday night, March 27, 2019. (Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office)

The car was located on Hendrickson Drive in Kalama shortly before the K-9 team found the suspect hiding inside an industrial glass plant in the area. He was taken into custody without further incident.

The suspect, identified as Daron T. Knight, was booked on multiple charges, including drive-by shooting, felony eluding, malicious mischief, making false statement, criminal trespass and driving while suspended. Authorities said Knight is a transient.

According to the investigation, Knight shot at least 5 bullets into the apartment complex. Authorities learned he was recently evicted from the apartment. 

No one was hurt.

‘I heard pop pop pop’

Apartment manager Evette McFadden said Knight and his wife left behind 4 truckloads of belongings when they were evicted Tuesday night. She said Knight returned the very next day and opened fire from his vehicle.

The gunshots erupted when Raymond — the apartment maintenance man — was repairing Knight’s former apartment.

“I was working on Number 8 and I heard pop pop pop,” Raymond said.

McFadden believes the woman who lives in the unit where the bullets hit may have been targeted because her boyfriend recently got into an argument with Knight. While the woman and her child were not home at the time of the shooting, plenty of other residents — including a few children — were just feet away from the spray of bullets.

“A lot of people” were close to the gunfire, McFadden said. “(Apartment) Number 4 right there, Number 6 right there, so both of them could have been hit, too.”

A Longview apartment's window was shot out by a number of gunshots. Suspect Daron Knight was later arrested and charged, March 28, 2019 (KOIN)

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