Fallen Clark County deputy identified; third person remains at large

·6 min read

Jul. 24—Clark County sheriff's Detective Jeremy Brown, 46, was identified as the deputy who was fatally shot Friday evening at an east Vancouver apartment complex.

The SW Washington Regional Major Crimes Team is investigating the shooting and said early Saturday morning that two people of interest were in custody. A third person of interest was still being sought.

Brown, a 15-year veteran of the sheriff's office, served as a detective with the Clark-Vancouver Drug Task Force. He had been in that role since 2017.

During his service with the sheriff's office, Brown also worked as a corrections deputy and patrol deputy, the sheriff's office said Saturday afternoon. He served a stint with the Washington State Department of Corrections and as a reserve officer with the Missoula County Sheriff's Office in Montana. He was a military police officer in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1993 to 1995, according to investigative records.

Brown was one of three Clark County deputies who fatally shot Kevin Peterson Jr., a 21-year-old Black man, during a planned drug sale in Hazel Dell on the evening of Oct. 29.

Officers killed in the line of duty

Nine local law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty since 1922, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and Columbian archives.

Over the past decade, 1,763 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty — an average of 176 per year. There were 306 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2020 across the U.S., statistics from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund show.

July 23, 2021: Detective Jeremy Brown, Clark County Sheriff's Office.

July 30, 2004: Sgt. Brad Crawford, Clark County Sheriff's Office. Crawford was killed when his unmarked patrol car was intentionally rammed by a pickup whose driver was fleeing a domestic disturbance at his home.

March 2, 1987: Trooper James S. Gain, Washington State Patrol. Gain died just after he had stopped a motorist for speeding on Interstate 5 near Salmon Creek. He was standing on the shoulder when a truck hit him.

Nov. 18, 1976: Deputy Martin Sowders, Clark County Sheriff's Office. Sowders was accidentally shot and killed by another deputy during a shootout with a suspect wanted for robbing a pharmacy.

Dec. 21, 1951: Trooper Don R. Campbell Jr., Washington State Patrol. Campbell was struck by a vehicle while directing traffic.

Sept. 29, 1932: Special Agent Ballard W. Turner, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Turner was shot while raiding a still in Vancouver.

Oct. 15, 1932: Special Agent Ernest B. Vlasich, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Vlasich was shot by a suspect in Vancouver while attempting an arrest.

May 22, 1927: Clark County Sheriff Lester Wood. The newly elected sheriff and some of his deputies were searching for a still near Yacolt when Wood was confronted by a gunman. He rounded a bend and was shot and killed.

Aug. 7, 1922: Deputy Wilfred E. Rorison, Clark County Sheriff's Office. Rorison was killed during a raid on a moonshine still when he and two prohibition agents were met by gunfire.

Friday's shooting — which prompted a large law enforcement response and manhunt — occurred shortly before 7 p.m. at The Pointe Apartments, in the 3500 block of Northeast 109th Avenue and just east of Interstate 205 in Vancouver.

Multiple people fled the scene, according to the Vancouver Police Department, which is handling the release of information.

Law enforcement is actively looking for the third person of interest, the agency said early Saturday morning, and asked residents in the area of Padden Parkway near I-205 and surrounding neighborhoods to stay inside their homes, keep doors locked and report any suspicious activity to 911.

Authorities have not yet said what led up to the shooting.

"This is a difficult time for the Clark County Sheriff's Office, law enforcement agencies in Clark County and the surrounding Clark County, Portland metro area," a sheriff's office statement issued late Friday said. "Clark County law enforcement appreciates the support and understanding of the community in these tough times."

The county's 911 dispatch center and local law enforcement agencies issued bulletins Friday night saying they were searching for the three suspects and warned the public the three were to be considered armed and dangerous.

The bulletins, sent out through neighborhood groups, asked residents to stay away from the area of I-205 and Northeast 87th Street because of the search.

Officers radioed that two of the three were taken into custody in a yard in the 8700 block of Northeast 76th Avenue at about 9:15 p.m. following a pursuit away from the shooting scene and manhunt in the area.

Police also detained a woman in the apartment complex Friday night after she exited a unit, and another person was seen in the back of a Vancouver Police Department car.

David Joyner Jr., 44, lives in the apartment complex. He said he and his wife were having dinner when he heard three pops. He got up and looked out the window but didn't see anyone. Joyner said it didn't take him more than 30 seconds to get to the window. He said police started to arrive about a minute and a half later.

Joyner went downstairs a few minutes later, he said, and saw neighbors gathering outside. A neighbor told him someone had been shot.

He said he saw a red car that appeared to have been shot at with an unconscious man inside. The man was placed in an ambulance and transported to a hospital. Joyner said a minivan parked next to the car had also been struck by bullets.

Shortly after 8:30 p.m., officers detained a woman who came out of one of the buildings in the apartment complex with her hands up. She walked across the parking lot to officers armed with a shield and tactical gear. She was handcuffed and taken to a Vancouver Police Department car.

At about 9 p.m. Lower Columbia SWAT arrived in an armored vehicle and began calling out to people inside that same building, demanding they come out with their hands up.

SWAT remained outside the apartment building for over two hours, calling for anyone else inside to come out. At 11:15 p.m., the officers approached the building and broke out a unit's front window. They then entered through the front door. After several minutes, they exited with no one in custody and left the scene.

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