Suspect in killing of Wash. deputy arrested in Oregon after manhunt
Deputy Jeremy Brown had been conducting surveillance at an apartment complex prior to the shooting
By Jessica Prokop
The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash.
SALEM, Ore. — Detectives from the U.S. Marshals Service Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force and the Salem Police Department have arrested the prime suspect in the fatal shooting Friday of Clark County sheriff's Detective Jeremy Brown.
The arrest was announced late Sunday afternoon by the Vancouver Police Department, which is investigating the shooting.
Details about the arrest of Guillermo Raya Leon, 26, of Salem, Ore., were not released, but documents related to a warrant for his arrest describe him as a methamphetamine user who was paranoid that law enforcement was following him and confronted Brown as he sat in an unmarked SUV at an east Vancouver apartment complex.
Court documents filed Saturday evening in Clark County Superior Court reveal new details about what led up to the shooting at The Pointe Apartments, in the 3500 block of Northeast 109th Avenue just east of Interstate 205 in Vancouver.
Prosecutors have filed charges of first-degree aggravated murder while armed with a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm against him. An arrest warrant was issued Saturday.
Law enforcement officers investigate the scene of a reported shooting at The Pointe Apartments on Friday evening, July 23, 2021. Fallen Clark County deputy identified; shooting suspect remains at large
Clark County sheriff's Detective Jeremy Brown, 46, was identified as the deputy who was fatally shot Friday evening at an east Vancouver apartment complex.
Law enforcement officers investigate the scene of a reported shooting at The Pointe Apartments on Friday evening.
Detective's death prompts outpouring of grief, sympathy
Condolences came pouring in for the Clark County Sheriff's Office and family of Detective Jeremy Brown, who was shot and killed Friday evening.
Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik said Sunday he intends to prosecute the case with the aid of a team of prosecutors. He declined to comment on whether others will be charged in connection with the shooting.
Raya Leon told his companions that Brown, 46, fired at him first and that he shot back twice and ducked so he wasn't hit. Multiple witnesses said they heard one shot, a pause and then several more gunshots — about five total, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Brown and other law enforcement officers were conducting surveillance on an apartment unit. The subjects of the investigation were identified as Raya Leon, known as "Fish," his brother, Abran Raya Leon, known as "Junior," and Misty Raya, who is "Junior's" girlfriend, according to the affidavit.
The exact reason why the three were under surveillance was not disclosed in the affidavit.
However, a warrant for Raya's arrest was issued Wednesday in Clark County. Court records show she faces charges related to a burglary at a Vancouver storage building and firearms theft — multiple weapons including AK-47 and ammunition.
Court records show Guillermo Raya Leon has three open cases in Marion County, Ore., for delivery of methamphetamine and unauthorized use of a vehicle. Abran Raya Leon has an open case in Clackamas County, Ore., for possession of a stolen vehicle, unauthorized use of a vehicle, attempting to elude and reckless driving.
The three were seen arriving at the apartment complex in a silver Toyota SUV driven by Lani Kraabell, the affidavit states.
Brown was seated in an unmarked maroon-colored Jeep SUV in the complex parking lot. Investigators involved in the surveillance operation said they heard several possible gunshots in the area and saw the Toyota SUV, with the trio inside, speeding away. They followed the SUV and radioed to Brown but did not get a response, the court document says.
Apartment residents called 911 after finding Brown had been shot in the chest while sitting in his vehicle. He was taken to a hospital, where he died, according to the affidavit.
Detectives who responded to the hospital said it appeared Brown had been shot once in the chest. Investigators have not disclosed whether Brown had discharged his firearm.
The shooting, which occurred shortly before 7 p.m., Friday prompted a large law enforcement response, vehicle pursuit and manhunt.
Officers pursuing the Toyota SUV found it crashed near I-205 and Padden Parkway, and the three occupants ran.
The county's 911 dispatch center and local law enforcement issued bulletins Friday night asking residents to stay away from the area of I-205 and Northeast 87th Street because of the search. Area residents were encouraged to stay inside their homes, keep doors locked and report any suspicious activity to 911.
Multiple law enforcement agencies responded for the manhunt and later located Raya and Abran Raya Leon in the backyard of an unoccupied residence, the affidavit states. They were arrested on unrelated felony warrants, investigators said.
Officers radioed that the two were taken into custody in the 8700 block of Northeast 76th Avenue at about 9:15 p.m. Friday. Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency reported at 2:50 a.m. Saturday that the ongoing law enforcement activity in the area had cleared.
Police also detained a woman in the apartment complex Friday night.
Shortly after 8:30 p.m., the woman came out of the unit being surveilled. She walked, with her hands up, across the parking lot to officers armed with a shield and tactical gear. She was handcuffed and taken to a Vancouver Police Department car.
Kraabell told investigators her friend Raya called her and said she needed a ride. Kraabell picked up Raya and the two brothers near a Target store in Portland. She said the three loaded up multiple bags into her SUV, and she drove them to the apartment complex in Vancouver, according to court records.
"Lani said that Fish was paranoid and mentioned multiple times that the police were following them," the affidavit reads.
Raya reportedly told Kraabell the three had fled from police in a vehicle earlier that day and were being sought for a burglary, the affidavit states.
Investigators said both Raya and Abran Raya Leon acknowledged they were being investigated for criminal violations by multiple law enforcement agencies, who sought their arrest, the court document says.
"Both Misty and Abran stated that Guillermo repeatedly and emphatically expressed a heightened concern that 'they were being followed'" by law enforcement, the affidavit reads.
Guillermo Raya Leon reportedly told the others he saw unmarked vehicles at their various locations. While at Kraabell's apartment, he pointed out a maroon-colored SUV with someone in the driver's seat, parked at the back of the apartment, according to the affidavit.
"They said Guillermo was 'trippin' that it was law enforcement watching them," the affidavit says.
He insisted someone try to see who was in the vehicle, and he left the apartment to investigate. Raya said Guillermo Raya Leon eventually approached the driver's side window of the SUV and spoke with the driver. Shortly after, she heard several gunshots, according to the court document.
She then saw the two brothers start to drive away in the silver SUV, she said, and they stopped to let her in before fleeing, the affidavit says.
Abran Raya Leon told investigators he was in the bathroom and did not see his brother approach the SUV or hear the gunshots. But when his brother returned, he said they needed to leave, court records say.
Both Raya and Abran Raya Leon said they saw Guillermo Raya Leon with a large silver revolver that he's known to carry in a waist pack. They said he was still armed when they fled, according to the affidavit.
Officers recovered a silver revolver in the yard while arresting the couple Friday night. Investigators say the revolver had one spent shell casing, and the firearm came back as stolen, the affidavit states.
(c)2021 The Columbian (Vancouver, Wash.)