Gun battle spanned more than six miles on I-205, I-84, police say
A chase and running gun battle at freeway speeds Tuesday night started when Vancouver police detectives tried to arrest one of the three suspects in the killing of a Kelso convenience clerk two weeks ago.
Two other suspects in the killing of 30-year-old Kayla Chapman had already been arrested.
The Vancouver detectives were working with Kelso police on the case, and when they tried to arrest suspect 23-year-old Erkinson Bossy last night in Vancouver, the pickup police said he was in took off. A Vancouver police officer traded gunfire with someone in the truck as it crossed into Oregon and finally crashed on Interstate 84 near the Lloyd Center.
Portland police closed a section of the freeway for more than 14 hours for an investigation that created a morning traffic nightmare. The freeway reopened around 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Vancouver police said detectives tried to stop the pickup involved at an apartment complex near Vancouver Mall around 7:30 p.m.
“That is when we attempted a traffic stop and the pursuit ensued into Oregon, resulting in the suspect firing at the Vancouver police officer. That officer firing back and eventually we had the incident stopped on I-84,” said Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp.
According to radio traffic at the time, officers first tried to use spike strips to stop the pickup but the driving was too dangerous and officers worried any officer trying to set out the spikes might be killed. Then they used what’s called a Pursuit Intervention Technique, or PIT maneuver, to clip the back end of the fleeing pickup before it crashed.
During the investigation, officers used flashlights while walking shoulder to shoulder down the freeway in the darkness searching the roadway for miles looking for evidence from the running gun battle. The search for that evidence was the main reason the freeway was closed for so long.
In a news release Wednesday afternoon, Portland police said they determined the shooting started on Interstate 205 and continued onto Interstate 84, spanning more than six miles.
The two men in the pickup were hospitalized. Neither had been shot, but one of the suspects suffered life-threatening injuries in the crash. He was in stable but critical condition Wednesday.
The Vancouver officer who exchanged gunfire during the chase was also treated and released from the hospital. That officer reportedly got glass in his eye during the exchange of gunfire.
Police in Washington said they will seek to extradite Bossy to Oregon.
Another suspect in the killing of Chapman appeared in court Wednesday.
Vancouver police arrested 21-year-old Nenemeny W. Ekiek on Tuesday a few hours before the chase and gun battle in Oregon.
Court documents obtained by KATU News said Ekiek was in the back seat of a car at the time of the robbery at the Kelso convenience store were Chapman worked.
According to Kelso police, Ekiek told them he gave D’Anthony Williams, the suspected shooter who was arrested last month, a red bandana and hat that he used to disguise himself.
Hear county deputies and police officers talk about the chase over the radio as it happened: