Breaking News
More () »

Man shot and killed by Vancouver police reached for gun during traffic stop, investigators say

Carlos M. Hunter, 43, was shot and killed during a March 7 traffic stop. Police said Hunter was a known gang member.

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Authorities on Friday released more details about the traffic stop that ended with two police detectives fatally shooting a Vancouver man on March 7.

Carlos M. Hunter, 43, was shot and killed in the 2500 block of Northeast 78th Street. He died at the scene.

Vancouver police said Hunter was a known gang member who was armed during the shooting.

Hunter’s sister, Nickeia Hunter, admitted that her brother had a troubled past, which included prison time, but said he had finally put it behind him. She said he was on his way to pick up his son when he was pulled over and shot.

Credit: Family photo
Carlos Hunter.

Regional Major Crimes Team investigators spoke with witnesses and interviewed the officers who were involved in the traffic stop. On Friday, detectives released some findings of their investigation.

According to detectives, Hunter was suspected of being in possession of drugs with intent to deliver. Vancouver officers obtained a warrant to search Hunter, his vehicle and his home. Police said their plan to serve the search warrant away from Hunter’s home if possible, which is why officers pulled him over on March 7 around 1:30 p.m.

There is no audio or video of the traffic stop, authorities said.

Three Vancouver police officers and one Department of Corrections officer were present at the traffic stop, investigators said. Hunter was the only person in the vehicle.

Officers said Hunter did not follow their directions after they advised him he was about to be detained and searched. He refused to get out of his car and was becoming “increasingly argumentative,” according to police.

The officers said Hunter kept putting his hands near his waist where they were out of sight. They continued to order Hunter to keep his hands up.

The officers eventually tried to physically remove Hunter from his vehicle, but he resisted and struggled with them, investigators said. All three officers used Tasers on Hunter but the tactic was not effective, police said.

As the struggle continued, officers said they saw Hunter reach into the right front pocket of his pants where they saw a handgun. After Hunter grabbed the handle, detectives Dennis Devlin and Colton Price, who were standing on opposite sides of Hunter’s vehicle, both opened fire, police said. Hunter was shot in the torso several times.

Police recovered a Smith & Wesson 40 caliber handgun. The gun had been reported stolen from a Vancouver home in 2017, police said.