Vancouver Police officer involved in shooting identified

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Police Department has identified the officer who shot and killed an armed automobile theft suspect.

On Feb. 10, Vancouver Police responded to a suspicious circumstance in the 4500 block of NE 66th Avenue. According to the caller, a vehicle crashed into a parked van at a retirement community parking lot and the suspect entered the lobby of the complex before fleeing on foot through the complex and into a neighboring apartment complex.

Vancouver Police responded and located the suspect, who had been involved in a robbery theft of an automobile in the county minutes earlier. The suspect entered a second floor apartment that was occupied by a male and his four children. Based on the circumstance, officers forcefully entered the apartment and a Vancouver Police officer located the suspect in a bedroom and fired at the suspect, who was armed.

The Vancouver Police officer involved in in the shooting is Ed Letarte, 53. Officer Letarte has been employed with the Vancouver Police Department since Sept. 29, 1998 and was previously with the Honolulu Police Department from July 1991-Sept. 1998. He was assigned as a detective in the Domestic Violence Unit from Jan. 2011- Jan. 2015. Officer Letarte has been a member of the SW Washington Regional SWAT team since Dec. 2005. Officer Letarte is currently assigned to West Precinct Patrol.

Following standard department protocol, Officer Letarte is on critical incident leave.

The investigation by the Regional Major Crimes Team is continuing. No further information on the investigation is available at this time.

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About The Author

Ken Vance got his start in the newspaper industry in 1987 as a reporter at The Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Vance graduated from Stevenson High School in Stevenson, WA, and attended Clark College in Vancouver. He worked for The Columbian from 1987-2001. He was most recently a staff member of The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground, where he served as editor since 2010 and reporter since 2007. Vance’s work in the newspaper industry has won him multiple awards, including a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting.

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