Vancouver officer shoots fleeing suspect who ran into family's apartment

Vancouver officer shoots suspect

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- A car theft suspect was shot and killed by Vancouver police Friday morning, according to authorities.

The officer who shot the suspect was identified Monday as 53-year-old Ed Letarte. Letarte has been with the Vancouver Police Department since 1998 and is currently assigned to West Precinct Patrol.

From 2011-2015, Letarte was a domestic violence detective and has been a member of the SW Washington Regional SWAT team since 2005. Prior to that, Letarte was an officer in Honolulu from 1991 until 1998.

Letarte has been placed on critical incident leave, per department protocol.

A vehicle was reported stolen from a driveway about 6:20 a.m. in the Walnut Grove area and then a few blocks away the suspect struck a bus at Vancouver Pointe Senior center.

A man who lives next door to the house where the car was stolen said he woke up to gunfire.

"We all are a little unnerved," said Norise Massenburg. "This is not the first time something has happened but it's the first time it's resulted in a fatality."

The driver went into the lobby of the care center, then ran through the complex before fleeing to neighboring apartments.

He went into a second-story unit where a father and four children were living. Police forced their way in and found the armed suspect in a bedroom. He was shot and killed.

Police do not believe the suspect knew the occupants of the apartment.

The names of the suspect and officer who shot him have not been released.

Photos: Vancouver police kill car theft suspect

No one else was injured.

This is the third officer-involved shooting in the Portland-metro area in 24 hours.

On Thursday morning Portland police shot and killed a 17-year-old armed robbery suspect in Northeast Portland. The suspect, identified as Quanice Hayes, was shot several hours after the robbery, when police spotted him in a neighborhood. Police found a replica gun near Hayes' body.

On Thursday evening, Portland police responded to a report of a suicidal man. While crisis counselors were talking to the man, he came out of a car with a gun and was shot after an encounter with police. The man, later identified as Don Allan Perkins, was taken to a hospital in critical condition. Police expect him to survive.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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