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Deputy wrestled with driver during Hazel Dell traffic stop prior to shooting him, investigators say

Investigators were told there was a struggle between a deputy and the driver, Jenoah Donald, that ended after the deputy fired two shots, hitting Donald once.
Credit: Bryant Clerkley, KGW
A suspect was critically injured and Clark County Sheriff's Office deputies were placed on leave after a shooting in Hazel Dell, Wash. on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021.

HAZEL DELL, Wash. — Investigators on Wednesday released more details about what led up to a Clark County Sheriff’s deputy shooting a 30-year-old Black man during a traffic stop in Hazel Dell last week. The three deputies involved in the traffic stop, including the deputy who shot the man, have been put on critical incident leave, per standard protocol. The man who was shot, identified as Jenoah Donald, remains hospitalized. He was reported to be in critical condition following the shooting.

Detectives from the Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team (SWIIR), led by Vancouver police, are investigating the shooting. They spoke with the three deputies put on leave, Sean Boyle, Greg Agar and Holly Troupe, and released the following information. Shortly after 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4, deputies from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 6500 block of Northwest Jordan Way on a report of suspicious activity. Since June 2020, there had been more than 40 calls for services to an address in the area, according to SWIIR.

As he was responding, Deputy Boyle noticed a bronze-colored Mercedes Benz leaving the area with a defective taillight. Boyle pulled the driver over just north of the intersection of Northeast 2nd Avenue and 68th Street. Boyle spoke with the driver, Jenoah Donald. Donald gave Boyle a Washington state ID card but couldn’t provide insurance or registration information, SWIIR said.

Deputy Troupe arrived and walked up to the passenger side of the car as Boyle returned to his patrol vehicle. Troupe told investigators she was concerned about a “ball-handled” object with a 3- to 4-inch sharpened “stake” on the end that was near the center console. Troupe told Donald to keep his hands visible, but he did not comply, according to SWIIR.

Boyle approached the Mercedes Benz again. At this point Deputy Agar had also arrived. Boyle opened the front door of the car. He told Donald to get out of the car several times, but he did not, investigators said. Boyle and Troupe then tried to escort Donald out of the car, but he resisted and a struggle began, according to SWIIR. Boyle punched Donald in the nose during the struggle and Boyle told investigators he felt Donald pull on his outer ballistic vest and pull him into the car. Boyle told Donald to let him go but he refused, according to investigators.

The car had been turned off earlier but Donald turned it back on during the struggle, SWIIR said. Boyle told investigators he felt the car begin to move forward and feared he was going to be killed. Agar and Troupe said they feared Boyle could be seriously injured or killed, according to investigators. Boyle drew his gun and told investigators he warned Donald to stop or he would shoot. Donald didn’t let go of Boyle, who fired two shots, one hitting Donald, SWIIR said. Boyle was then able to get out of the car, which rolled away until it hit a fence in a neighboring yard.

Deputies then removed Donald from the car. He was transported to a hospital. He remains hospitalized.

The investigation is ongoing. A judge signed a search warrant for the Mercedes Benz and investigators will search and process evidence from the car over the next few days.

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