Off-duty Vancouver Police officer Donald Sahota was stabbed during a fight with a robbery suspect before he was mistakenly shot by a Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputy
Details of the Saturday officer-involved shooting of off-duty Vancouver Police Department (VPD) officer Donald Sahota were released by the Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team Sunday evening.
On Saturday (Jan. 29) at about 8:14 p.m., police responded to the Chevron gas station, located at 9810 NE 117th Ave. in Vancouver on the report of an armed robbery. The caller reported a 23- or 24-year-old white male reportedly produced a handgun, pointed the firearm at the clerk’s chest and demanded money.
The suspect fled the scene in a stolen dark-colored Mercedes passenger car with several hundred dollars. Twelve minutes later, the armed robbery suspect was intercepted by police traveling northbound on I-205. The robbery suspect failed to stop for police and the suspect eluded the officer’s apprehension attempts.
The robbery suspect eluded officers for several miles and eventually exited I-5 toward the city of Battle Ground, where assisting officers successfully deployed spike strips to immobilize the vehicle. The robbery suspect then exited the vehicle and fled on foot to avoid apprehension.
As assisting officers established containment, a resident in the Battle Ground area called 9-1-1 reporting a lone male, coincidentally matching the description of the robbery suspect, was pounding on their front door asking for assistance because he had just been involved in a collision.
The female caller told emergency dispatch that her husband was an armed off-duty Vancouver Police Department officer and had exited their residence onto the driveway in front of their home in an attempt to detain the suspect for responding officers.
The suspect then became aggressive and engaged in a physical fight with the off-duty officer while the female caller was still on the phone with emergency dispatch. The off-duty officer lost control of his firearm and suffered several stab wounds during the struggle with the suspect.
The suspect broke free from the struggle and ran toward the officer’s residence which was occupied by the officer’s wife, who was still on the phone with emergency dispatch.
The off-duty officer was able to recover his firearm that he lost control of during the struggle then ran after the suspect who was attempting to enter his home while still in possession of the instrument used to stab him. Within seconds of responding, law enforcement officers arriving on scene, one Clark County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) deputy fired several rounds from a rifle striking the off-duty officer.
The off-duty officer/homeowner collapsed on his front porch before responding officers were able to determine he was the homeowner and not the alleged robbery suspect. The suspect surrendered to police moments later and was taken into custody without incident.
Officers attempted to provide emergency trauma care to the off-duty officer, but they were unable to stabilize him. The deceased off-duty VPD officer was identified as the 52-year-old Sahota. His official cause of the death has not been determined.
The investigation of the use of force by the CCSO deputy is being investigated by the Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team, in accordance with the Law Enforcement Training and Community Safety Act.
Terrible police work. He didn’t need to die.
So terribly sad.
A gut-wrenching tragedy!
Tragic and incomprehensible. Condolences to the officer’s family. I hope they are given millions of dollars in compensation and the perp gets life in prison for murder. The deputy must also be dealt with harshly. Sad.
Millions in compensation? Where is that money coming from?
The last thing to go through Sahota’s mind was something nobody should ever have to endure. This is the most despicable act of law enforcement I have seen around here since Sheriff Atkins refused to make Clark County a 2nd Amendment County like all of our neighboring counties did.
I can’t believe these comments criticizing the split second decision made during a chaotic situation. Show some humility. The only one that is clearly at fault is the suspect. I pray for all officers involved.