Fatal OIS sparks protests, unrest in Wash. city

Officials said the man ran from police and fired a shot at officers before police returned fire

Demonstrations late Friday resulted in "minor damage," including vandalism, broken windows and flag burning, according to The Columbian.

By Joseph Wilkinson
New York Daily News

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Police officers in southwest Washington fatally shot a 21-year-old Black man Thursday evening in a bank parking lot.

The county sheriff said Kevin Peterson Jr. was running from police who were working on a drug investigation, the Oregonian reported. The sheriff, Chuck Atkins, said Peterson fired a gunshot at officers before they returned fire and killed him.

Other witnesses, none of whom had a good view of the shooting, told the Oregonian and the Columbian that they didn’t see Peterson fire a shot, but that he appeared scared and that cops shot quickly upon arrival.

Peterson’s girlfriend, Olivia Selto, was on the phone with him when he died, she told the Oregonian. Selto said all she knew was that Peterson was running and scared before she heard numerous gunshots.

Peterson was killed in Vancouver, Wash., a suburb of Portland, Ore., just across the Columbia River that forms the state border.

Clark County Sheriff Atkins said investigators found Peterson’s gun at the scene, the Oregonian reported.

Protesters gathered late Thursday night at the U.S. Bank parking lot where Peterson was killed, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. Demonstrations continued in Vancouver on Friday.

Community leaders in Portland feared that violence would erupt in the city, the Associated Press reported. Portland has seen several clashes between Black Lives Matter protesters and far-right hate groups since the May killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Washington state law requires a different agency to investigate any fatal police shooting. The cops who killed Peterson were officers with the Vancouver Police Department and Clark County Sheriff’s Office who were part of an anti-drug task force, according to the AP. The police department in the city of Camas, Wash., about 13 miles east, will lead the shooting investigation.

Peterson, a Camas resident, and Selto had a baby daughter together, Kailiah Peterson.

“I told him I loved him as many times as I could and he said it back,” Selto told the Oregonian. “I’m heartbroken."

(c)2020 New York Daily News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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