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Man shot by police on I-5 overpass in La Center identified

Officials said Vencine Hadley, 47, was shot by two Washington State Patrol troopers and a Cowlitz Tribal police officer after a high-speed chase on June 3.

LA CENTER, Wash. — A man who was shot by authorities on the Interstate 5 overpass in La Center following a high-speed chase last week has been identified 47-year-old Vencine Hadley, the Clark County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) reported Thursday. 

The sheriff's office said Hadley was shot when two Washington State Patrol (WSP) troopers and an officer from the Cowlitz Tribal Police Department fired their guns on June 3. 

He was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver for treatment, then was later booked at the Clark County Jail for outstanding warrants and new charges of attempting to elude and unlawful possession of a firearm, officials said.

WSP said troopers tried to pull over Hadley while he was speeding down I-5 southbound near milepost 39 around 7:15 p.m. They said the car he was driving matched one that had recently fled a traffic stop in Kelso. He fled down I-5 at speeds that exceeded 100 miles per hour. CCSO reported that an attempt to end the pursuit using spike strips was unsuccessful.

According to news releases from WSP and CCSO, the driver stopped on the I-5 overpass at La Center Road near ilani Casino Resort after he collided with another vehicle at the top of the off-ramp, disabling his vehicle. WSP troopers and a Cowlitz police officer tried to get Hadley and a female passenger to comply with orders, during which the troopers and officer fired their guns and shot the Hadley, according to CCSO. 

CCSO identified the law enforcement officers as Trooper Josh Bacheller, a 6-year veteran of WSP, and Trooper Evan Tippets, 5.5-year veteran of WSP, and Cowlitz Tribal Ofc. Austin More, a 2.5-year veteran of his department. All three were placed on leave, which is standard protocol for police shootings. 

The woman got out of the vehicle and was taken into custody. Troopers said there was a brief standoff as the driver, who was conscious and alert according to CCSO, refused to get out of the car. The driver told the troopers and officer that he had a gun and was ready to die, CCSO reported, and he also used a meth pipe multiple times to ingest what was believed to be methamphetamine.

After about 20 minutes of negotiation, the driver eventually got out of the car and was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver for treatment, officials said. CCSO said the driver is in "serious but stable condition." Law enforcement later recovered a gun from the vehicle.

During the incident, outdoor diners at ilani Casino Resoort were moved inside and Cowlitz Crossing and the Cowlitz Tobacco Outlet were temporarily closed.

The Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team will investigate the shooting. The team is made up of several law enforcement agencies throughout Clark County. 

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