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Documents shed light on moments before police killing of Kevin Peterson Jr.

A newly released affidavit sheds some light on the 10 minutes between when deputies made contact with Peterson and when he was shot and killed.

PORTLAND, Ore. — New court documents have shed light on the case of Kevin Peterson Jr., a Black man from Camas who was shot and killed by Clark County deputies last month.

On the evening of Oct. 30, Peterson went to the parking lot of a Hazel Dell hotel to sell 50 Xanax pills, according to a search warrant affidavit for the searching of Peterson vehicle, as first reported by The Oregonian. An informant tipped off deputies who set up a sting.

The documents stated Peterson arrived at the Quality Inn hotel at around 5:50 p.m. that night. Ten minutes later, he was shot and killed in a nearby parking lot.

When Peterson pulled into the parking lot, he was met by officers with the regional drug task force who blocked his car in. Peterson, according to documents, then began to run.

Peterson was carrying a gun, a .40-caliber Glock pistol, the documents show. He dropped the firearm while he was running, doubled back for it and continued running. Peterson ran to the U.S. Bank parking lot where vigils would later be held following his death.

It's unclear whether Peterson shot at police before three officers opened fire on him. It has been a point of contention since his death. Originally, Clark County Sheriff Chuck Atkins said in a press conference that Peterson had fired his gun, according to his deputies. However, independent investigators have not confirmed or denied that information in the days since the killing.

The affidavit says, “police radio traffic ... stated that Mr. Peterson had fired two rounds” at police. A witness within the affidavit reported she heard two gunshots that “sounded different” before “a volley of shots” that sounded the same.

The affidavit also says that a U.S. Bank camera captured video of Peterson “pointing what appeared to be a firearm in the direction of police.” A gun was found near his body and was two bullets short of a full magazine.

Police also found a capped needle and “bundles of possible narcotics” in the route Peterson took as he fled from police, according to the affidavit.

The three deputies involved in the shooting have not yet been identified. The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Peterson’s death a homicide. He died from multiple gunshot wounds. However, information about the number of shots, or where Peterson was shot, has not been released.

An independent investigation is ongoing.


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