See exclusive photos of the SERT callout that shut down a large portion of Lents and Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhoods, and learn about the progress of the investigation …
We find every street blocked off, as SERT and district officers comb the blocks looking for suspects who officials say shot a Vancouver cop in the chest.
Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Not often does a crime that takes place in Vancouver, Washington, affect the lives of outer East Portland citizens.
But, on April 15, a good-sized portion of the Powellhurst-Gilbert and Lents neighborhoods were locked down as Portland Police Bureau district officers – and members of the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) – searched for a gunman who they think shot Vancouver Police Sgt. Jay Alie in the chest about 9:30 p.m. that night.
According to Vancouver Police Department Public Information Coordinator Kim Kapp, the incident started in Vancouver Heights when a neighbor called 911 reporting several individuals hauling pillowcases full of loot from a home to a white, 4-door vehicle with Oregon plates.
“Sgt. Alie spotted the vehicle driving through the neighborhood at a high rate of speed,” stated Kapp, “and attempted a traffic stop.”
Illuminated by street lamps, and the lights from nearby convenience store, a member of the SERT team heads out to back up East Precinct district officers during the manhunt that continued throughout the night.
Suspected thief takes a shot
As he exited his patrol car, one of the passengers of the suspect vehicle opened fire, and shot Alie in the chest. Fortunately, he was wearing a bullet-resistant, ballistic vest, and the injury was minor.
The white sedan took off and headed south, into Oregon, on I-205.
Talking to us near a roadblock on S.E Holgate Boulevard near SE 112th Avenue, Portland Police Bureau spokesperson Detective Mary Wheat filled us in on what happened next. “Our officers followed up on information that the suspect vehicle might be in the area of S.E. Portland. They spotted the possible suspect vehicle in the area of SE 114th Avenue and Pardee Street. Two possible suspects fled on foot from the vehicle.”
The suspected thieves and cop-shooter didn’t get far; Wheat said two subjects were taken into custody a few minutes later, and detained.
Despite the arrests, police kept the neighborhoods quarantined until they removed their roadblocks about 6:30 a.m. on April 16. We learned from an official who was at the scene that police were looking for additional suspects; whether or not they were located was left uncertain.
The neighborhood was in “lockdown” until dawn of the following day.
Suspects’ identity remain a mystery
“The two individuals have been arrested and booked on charges unrelated to last night’s incidents in Vancouver,” Kapp told us at deadline. “Charges regarding the burglary and shooting will be referred to the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office for review. Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, the names of those individuals are not being released at this time.”
Officials say the crooks took a shot at this man, Vancouver Police Sgt. Jay Alie; he has been released from the hospital, Kapp said, and did not sustain serious injuries because of his bullet-proof vest.
Wheat added, “Detectives continue to process evidence, and several search warrants are being served related to this ongoing investigation. The Vancouver Police Major Crimes team is working closely with the Portland Police Bureau. No further information is available.”
© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News