Deputies struggled with Jenoah Donald before firing, according to information provided by the SW Washington Independent Investigative Response Team
VANCOUVER – Detectives from the SW Washington Independent Investigative Response Team (SWIIR) recently completed the last of the interviews of the three Clark County Sheriff’s deputies that were involved in the officer-involved shooting that occurred on Feb. 4, 2021.
A synopsis of the information gathered as part of the ongoing investigation was released by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Wednesday evening.
Details of traffic stop
On Feb. 4, at about 7:37 p.m., CCSO began responding to the 6500 block of NW Jordan Way in Hazel Dell for the report of suspicious activity involving two vehicles circling the area. The caller to 9-1-1 expressed frustration with the “drug house” and “constant barrage of issues affecting the neighborhood.” Since June of 2020, there have been over 40 calls for service or responses to an address in that vicinity.
CCSO Deputies Greg Agar, Holly Troupe and Sean Boyle began responding to the area. As Boyle entered the area, he noticed a bronze-colored vehicle with a modified exhaust leaving the area towards 68th Street. Boyle was able to get behind the vehicle, a Mercedes Benz with Oregon plates, and noticed that the vehicle also had a defective rear light. Boyle then conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle by activating his emergency lights and the vehicle came to a stop just north of the intersection of NE 2nd Avenue and NE 68th Street.
Boyle made contact with the driver who identified himself with a Washington State identification card as Jenoah Donald. Donald could not produce insurance or registration information for the vehicle. During this time, Troupe arrived at the location and walked up to the passenger side of the vehicle as a cover officer as Boyle began to return to his vehicle.
As Troupe was watching Donald from the passenger side of the vehicle, she became concerned about several objects inside of the vehicle, most specifically a “ball-handled” object with a three-to-four inch sharpened “stake” on the end, which was near the center console of the vehicle. Troupe instructed Donald several times to place his hands in a visible location, due to her concern of his immediate access to this object. Donald did not comply with this command and instead created space between his lower back and the driver’s seat, placing his hands out of view and into this created space and subsequently produced a cell phone and a pair of metal pliers.
A struggle takes place
Boyle, who was alerted to the escalation at the stopped vehicle, exited his vehicle. By this time, Agar had also arrived at the location. Boyle approached the vehicle with the intent to calm everything down and to remove Donald from the vehicle. Boyle opened the front door of the vehicle as Troupe approached from behind. Boyle instructed Donald several times to exit the vehicle, but he did not comply. Deputies Boyle and Troupe then tried to escort Donald out of the vehicle, but he was resistive to this and began to struggle. Troupe attempted to gain “pain compliance,” which had no effect.
At around this time, Boyle continued to struggle with Donald, in an attempt to get him out of the vehicle. Boyle performed a closed-fist strike with his left hand to the nose area of Donald, which also had no effect. Boyle then felt Donald actively pull on his outer ballistic vest and pull him into the interior of the vehicle. Donald continued to pull Boyle towards him.
Troupe indicated that she was concerned that Donald, whose right arm was free, was going to gain access to the implement previously described and use this to assault Boyle, who was in a compromised position, being pulled into the vehicle with his right side pressed against Donald and his left hand on the floorboard of the vehicle. Boyle issued multiple commands for Donald to let go of him, which were not obeyed.
The altercation escalates
The engine of Donald’s vehicle had been turned off during the encounter, but during the struggle with Boyle, the vehicle was turned back on by Donald. The deputies could hear the sound of the engine revving and the vehicle’s “wheels spinning.” Boyle continued to attempt to push up from the floorboard with his left hand and to pull away from the grip of Donald but was unable to free himself.
Boyle felt the vehicle begin to move forward, and fearing he was going to be killed, he drew his firearm (Deputy Boyle is left-handed) and gave Donald a verbal warning to stop or he would be shot. During the struggle with Donald, Deputies Agar and Troupe also expressed fear that Boyle would be seriously injured or killed, given his compromised position. Troupe, who was also actively struggling with Donald, was also fearful for her own safety. Donald did not comply and did not let go of Boyle, at which time Boyle fired two shots, one striking Donald. Boyle then was able to push away from the grasp of Donald and the vehicle, which began travelling in a northwest direction under power until it impacted a fence in a neighboring yard.
All three deputies then approached the vehicle, removed Donald and began rendering aid. Donald was transported to an area hospital where he remains hospitalized.
Detectives from the SWIIR Team, led by the Vancouver Police Department, are investigating the officer-involved shooting. A search warrant for the vehicle driven by Donald that evening has been signed by a Clark County judge and the search and processing for evidence located in the vehicle will be conducted by detectives from SWIIR in the next few days.
The investigation is ongoing. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.
Information provided by Clark County Sheriff’s Office.