Officer-involved shooting of Donald Sahota now in the hands of the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office

A panel of five elected prosecutors were unable to reach a consensus on whether the shooting of the off-duty Vancouver Police officer was reasonable or not.

A panel of five elected prosecutors were unable to reach a consensus on whether the shooting of the off-duty Vancouver Police officer was reasonable or not

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) received a copy of a review Wednesday of the officer-involved shooting of Vancouver Police Department Officer Donald Sahota. 

WAPA OIS Review. Click to view PDF.
WAPA OIS Review. Click to view PDF.

The 11-page review, obtained by Clark County Today from the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office, revealed that the panel of five elected prosecutors from around Washington state were unable to reach a consensus on the events that led to the fatal shooting of Sahota by CCSO Deputy Jon Feller.

The issue is now in the hands of Clark County Prosecuting Attorney Tony Golik, who told Clark County Today Wednesday night that “I expect our office will make a final decision within the next 1-2 weeks’’ on any possible criminal charges in the matter.

Last year, Golik requested the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (WAPA) review the officer-involved shooting which took place on Jan. 29, 2022. 

Clark County Prosecuting Attorney Tony Golik
Clark County Prosecuting Attorney Tony Golik

“Today CCSO received a copy of the WAPA review from the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office,’’ read a CCSO statement issued Wednesday evening. “This review was part of the use of force investigation process selected by Prosecuting Attorney Golik and further action in this case now rest with his office.

“This was a tragic event and our thoughts and support remain with the friends and family of Officer Donald Sahota and the Vancouver Police Department family. We continue to provide support to Deputy Feller through this review process. Since July 2022, Deputy Feller has been returned to administrative duty.’’

Donald Sahota
Donald Sahota

Details of Sahota’s tragic death were released by the Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team just days after the shooting. On that evening, police responded to a Chevron gas station in Vancouver on the report of an armed robbery. The suspect, then 20-year-old Julio Cesar Segura, fled the scene in a stolen 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, later identified as Sahota’s wife, 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 Sahota while his wife was still on the phone with emergency dispatch. Sahota 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 Sahota 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 arrived on scene and Feller fired several rounds from a rifle striking the off-duty officer. Sahota 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 Sahota, but they were unable to stabilize him.  

In their 11-page review, the five members of the WAPA panel stated that they were unable to reach a consensus on whether Feller acted reasonably when he mistakenly shot Sahota. 

“Some believed that considering the totality of the circumstances known to him, Feller should have taken the time to verify the identity of his target,” the panel wrote in its review letter, which also stated that some members said opening fire “was not unreasonable.”

The panel’s review also stated that two Battle Ground Police officers who responded to the scene also mistakenly identified Sahota as the suspect and one told investigators that he actually pointed his own weapon on Sahota but did not fire. 

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2 months ago

He’s been involved in two questionable shootings within a two year period. Whether he is charged or not he should not continue a career in law enforcement.

2 months ago

It is unbelievable that the panel of Prosecuting Attorneys couldn’t agree that at least one ‘wrong’ was committed by feller (lower case intentional). The ‘wrong’ that feller did was that he did not adequately assess the situation by first identifying who it was that he opened fire upon… within seconds of arriving on scene.

I’m very confident that every form of police training, just like hunter-safety programs, teach that if you fire your weapon then you “own the bullet” and you better be sure of your target.

And feller was NOT sure of his target. And feller killed an innocent person. And feller needs to go away and no longer be in law enforcement.

Maybe Atty. Golik will pursue charges against feller? I certainly hope so!

Otherwise, it will be officially sanctioned: In Clark County, if one is involved in a fight and the CCSO is called, all participants in the fight are subject to being murdered on sight (by the CCSO) simply because they are involved in the fight. CCSO will have been granted the role of judge/jury/executioner.

This is pretty freakin’ scary.

nela nela
nela nela
2 months ago

My heart still breaks for the Sahota family, yet 5 elected prosecutors were “unable to reach a concensus” on whether or not the shooting of that dear man was reasonable. His wife called and told dispatch her husband was an armed off duty VPD officer. That info should have been immediately passed to the responders. Within seconds of responding his life ended. Five elected procecutors! Officers now have computers in their cars, radios and carry phones – couldn’t they have received the info w/ a picture of the officer from dispatch? I don’t know the Sahota’s but can’t even fathom the grief of this whole situation. The officer that mistook him for the suspect – I know it was a mistake but there were failures to pass all the pertinent info w/ urgency to the responders because we are talking seconds to make a decision. It was crucial to the responders that they receive it! No one could have forseen this situation and I pray it would be used in some form of discussion and/or departmental training to prevent such a tragedy again. I have dear friends who are officers and it’s hard to not be concerned about their safety in this present environment.

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