Police: Armed suspect in drug investigation killed by officers in Hazel Dell traffic stop
A suspect in a Clark County area drug investigation was shot and killed by two Vancouver Police detectives on Thursday during a traffic stop in the Hazel Dell area, a department spokesperson said.
According to officials, investigators with the Safe Streets Task Force (Vancouver Police's gang unit) spotted a known gang member linked to a drug trafficking case shortly before 2 p.m. and pulled the person over near the intersection of Northeast 78th Street and 25th Avenue.
The suspect, who police say had a handgun, was "uncooperative" and the detectives ended up firing their weapons.
The suspect died of his injuries, and the detectives were not hurt in the incident.
The shooting happened outside Vancouver city limits.
"The detectives have the ability to conduct investigations outside of the city limits," said Vancouver Police Department spokeswoman Kim Kapp. "So this particular suspect related to our investigation in the city was in the county, which is not uncommon for investigative units, like a gang task force to do that."
A woman named Nickeia Hunter said her brother was the suspect, but police have not confirmed his identity. Kapp said the medical examiner will release the suspect's name.
Hunter said her brother didn't open fire, but that claim has not been confirmed by police.
Hunter, who did not witness the incident, said her brother got into trouble as a kid but reformed.
"I hear them saying that he had a gun, but I know my brother. If they saw the gun, it would have been because he was pointing it at them, shooting," she said. "He's not just going to just roll the window down and there's a gun laying on the seat for you to be scared about is what I'm saying. So, it doesn't make any sense that there's bullet holes from both sides of the car and that he's dead laying on the ground and that not one shot was fired by him."
She said her brother left his house four blocks away to pick up his son, and she doesn't understand how a traffic stop turned into a shooting.
Kapp said police are not commenting on any details.
Greg Romine is the Hunter's family pastor.
"I've just known them for a long time, and they have a really hard life, and they've had a lot of problems, but we continue to reach out to them," he said.
Northeast 78th (which turns into Padden Parkway) is closed between 13th and 30th Avenues. It could be shut down until after 8 p.m.
The Clark County Sheriff's Office and Camas Police Department are heading up the investigation.
Thursday's shooting was the third deadly police shooting involving Vancouver police in the past three weeks.
On Feb. 28, officers shot and killed a man who they say was pointing a gun at cars on West 12th and Jefferson in downtown. And on Feb. 19, officers shot and killed a 16-year-old who was brandishing a knife and wouldn't drop it.
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