Vancouver officer shot, in critical condition; suspects in custody

Vancouver officer shot, in critical condition; suspects in custody »Play Video
Police investigate the scene where a Vancouver motorcycle police officer was shot and critically injured near Northeast 162nd Avenue and 34th Street on Monday, June 30, 2014.

VANCOUVER, Wash. – A Vancouver motorcycle police officer was in critical condition Monday night after being shot during a morning traffic stop. And police have two suspects in custody after they said they crashed their truck and then one of them carjacked another truck.

The officer was shot multiple times, police said. He was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center for treatment.

The shooting happened at about 11:30 a.m. Police said minutes later they took one suspect into custody. The second suspect was found and taken into custody around 2 p.m.

Police identified one of the suspects late Monday night. James Todd Sapp, 47, was arrested on charges of attempted murder, robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm. He is scheduled to appear in Clark County Court on Tuesday morning.

The name of the other suspect has not been released.

The officer was shot near Northeast 162nd Avenue and 34th Street, police said.

Vancouver Police Lt. Scott Creager told KATU's news partners at The Columbian the motorcycle officer had stopped a car that was reported stolen. When a dispatcher tried to contact the officer, the officer didn't answer and a citizen came on radio saying an officer had been shot.

Neighbors and bystanders rushed to the officer's aid after the shots were fired. Some of them saw the officer fall to the ground. And seconds after the shooting witnesses said the car the officer had pulled over raced off.

"I see the officer, down on his back and all of a sudden medical teams coming in," said Ryan Kwong. "And I just see (them) cutting his clothes off, trying to see were the bullet wounds -- it's in his shoulder and his neck."   

Neighbors also helped to block traffic and one woman even kept children away from a bullet until police arrived to take it into evidence.

After fleeing, the suspects crashed their truck near Diamond Park near 148th Avenue. One of the suspects ran off, and the other carjacked an elderly man’s Chevy pickup, police said. The suspect then drove just a few blocks and got out the truck. Neighbors said they saw him running around a house and that he might have a connection to someone in the area.

One man said he even met the suspect a couple days ago. He was asking about buying the tent trailer the neighbor was selling.

During the search for the suspects, police closed 138th to 141st avenues near 28th Street and set up a containment area. Dispatchers sent out an alert for neighbors in the area to stay indoors.

Kasy McCabe was out walking her dog when one of the suspects ran right into her as he was trying to escape. She said he ran by her and into a backyard, yelling for someone inside the house by the name of Jimmy. She described the suspect as “super frantic.”

"He looked like he could have been on some sort of drugs or messed up a little bit. He didn't look injured," McCabe said.

She said another woman in a car was chasing the suspect. That woman later told KATU that probably wasn't the smartest idea, but that she just wanted to protect her neighbors and follow the suspect until police could arrive on the scene.

Police have not yet released the name of the officer who was shot. Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp said the officer's name will likely be released Tuesday.

A Vancouver police patrol car was involved in a crash near Northeast 54th Avenue and Stapleton Road, which was about five miles away from the shooting. KATU's Dan Cassuto reported an officer crashed into another vehicle while responding to the reported shooting. Kapp said the officer was treated and released. The driver of the other car sustained non-life-threatening injuries.


KATU's Stephen Mayer, Dan Cassuto, Hillary Lake and The Associated Press contributed to this story.