Vancouver Police Department provides statement on death of Officer Donald Sahota

Memorial Service to be held Tuesday (Feb. 8) at 1 p.m. at ilani Casino Resort

VANCOUVER – On Saturday (Jan. 29) Vancouver Police Officer Donald Sahota was killed while off duty at his home but was acting within his authority as a police officer at the time of his death. Since his death, the Vancouver Police Department has been working with Officer Sahota’s family, with assistance from the Behind the Badge Foundation, to plan for a memorial service to honor and respect Officer Sahota and his life. 

Vancouver Police Officer Donald Sahota
Vancouver Police Officer Donald Sahota

This is the first line of duty death for the Vancouver Police Department since the department was established in 1883. 

“Over the past few days, I have been in many conversations with Sheriff (Chuck) Atkins and I know that he and his people are also hurting,” said Vancouver Police Chief James McElvain. “The circumstances around the death of Officer Sahota have, of course, been extremely painful and emotional for our department, as well as the greater law enforcement community in our area, including for those at the Gresham Police Department and the Port of Portland Police Department where Officer Sahota worked prior to joining the Vancouver Police Department”. 

As part of the planning process for Officer Sahota’s memorial service, a team has been assigned as liaisons to Officer Sahota’s family and I want to share statements from both Don’s wife and kids and Don’s mother. 

The following is a statement from Officer Sahota’s wife and kids: “While police officers are heroes, they are also human.  Being a law enforcement family, we understand that this is one of the hardest jobs in the world, often involving split-second decisions that mean life or death.  We would like everyone to know that we hold no ill feelings toward the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, or the deputy involved in this tragedy, and hope others can show them grace as well.  The fact remains that one person is ultimately responsible for the death of Officer Donald Sahota — the suspect in custody.  If this individual hadn’t made poor decision after poor decision, and ended up inside our home, we wouldn’t be where we are now.” 

This is the statement Sahota’s mother would like to share: “Don was really just a great man. Honest, kind, loved to help people. He was a great son, wonderful father and husband. He loved his job and loved serving his community.”

The memorial service for Officer Sahota will be held Tuesday (Feb. 8) at 1:00 p.m., at ilani Casino Resort (1 Cowlitz Way, Ridgefield WA). Specifics will be sent out in a separate communication, which will include COVID guidelines and procedures that will need to be adhered to.

A bank account has been set up for monetary donations for the Sahota family. Anyone wishing to make a donation can visit a Chase bank branch to donate to the Officer Sahota Memorial Fund.  

Cards or letters can be mailed to:

Vancouver Police HQ

605 E Evergreen Blvd.

Vancouver, WA 98661

Cards or letters to the Sahota family sent to the Vancouver Police Department will be forwarded to them. 

Officer Sahota’s memorial vehicle will be parked at the VPD Headquarters through Monday and will be moved to the Memorial Service site on Tuesday. 

Additional information on the memorial service will be provided as soon as it is available.

Information provided by Vancouver Police Department.

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1 year ago

ummmm…. hey, everyone… you do know that this man was not killed in the line of duty, don’t you? He was killed by a CCSO deputy who violated one of the prime-directives in handling guns. The CCSO deputy fired at a target without first identifying that target.

The CCSO deputy’s life was not in danger, so the “split second decision to save my life” argument doesn’t hold water. The slain man was outside, running toward a home, with (reportedly) no other person in sight at that moment, so the “I had to shoot to prevent loss of another’s life” argument doesn’t hold water, either.

If you think that if it had been YOU that did the shooting, and that a week later you’d still be walking free, lying low and avoiding public scrutiny, and not charged with a crime then you are living in a dream world. White or black or green or orange, you’d be behind bars.

The CCSO’s deputy should be placed on immediate unpaid leave, charged with a crime, and sent to jail. At the very least, he should be terminated from the CCSO and blacklisted from ever holding a LEO position again.

As for the slain officer, I’m so very very sorry for him and his family. He was not killed as a LEO. He was killed as an armed husband and father, as an armed homeowner, who was protecting his family. He was killed simply because he held a gun in his hand. It is hoped that the same outpouring of love and admiration can be seen for the next husband/father/homeowner that is senselessly killed. Because at the current rate of things happening within the CCSO, there WILL be a next time.

1 year ago
Reply to  Susan

Totally preventable tragedy had the deputy but took the time to identify the target instead of shooting first and finding out his mistake later.

Maureen James
Maureen James
9 months ago
Reply to  Susan

Well, he was running toward an open residence pointing a gun and upset. But he doesn’t look like a twenty-something. But even if he didn’t look like the suspect, he was still running toward a family while meaning to fire a gun. Don’t officers say, “Put your hands up?” anymore? Just a very sad situation. Police need machines that send out a big mosquito net which traps suspects. Then officers can tell the trapped suspect to put their hands up and push their weapon away.

Last edited 9 months ago by Maureen James
Barbara Jordan
Barbara Jordan
1 year ago

Rip. My prayers go out.

Stephen DALBY
Stephen DALBY
1 year ago

My heart goes out to the family of this fine Police Officer.

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