Shortly after 12:00 pm Friday, August 19, Washington State Patrol Communications (WSP) in Vancouver, Washington received 9-1-1 calls of a driver of a Toyota Camry brandishing a weapon at other drivers on Interstate 5 near Vancouver.
Troopers in the area were able to locate the vehicle and attempted to pull the vehicle over at which time it fled from the troopers. Troopers did not pursue the vehicle but were made aware the license plate showed that the vehicle was stolen and also involved in two shootings in Portland on August 15th. Fortunately WSP aircraft was available and started to track the vehicle as it continued NB I-5.
The aircraft followed the vehicle all the way north to Auburn where it pulled into a Heritage Bank ATM drive-thru where troopers were able to prevent the suspect from escaping. The suspect was taken into custody without incident.
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Detectives applied for a search warrant for the vehicle to search and retrieve the gun that was observed in plain view on the floorboard of the car. The suspect was booked into the King County Jail for Felony Eluding and Possession of stolen property with more charges being investigated.
This is a tremendous example of coordination from WSP districts as this vehicle headed north from Vancouver. The Aviation Section of the WSP played such a vital role in tracking this vehicle so troopers did not have to pursue. This was an awesome job with Districts 5, 1 and 2 as there was seamless communication and coordination with the aircraft to ultimately bring this to a close.
WSP detectives asking any witnesses to this incident to email Detective Olsen at [email protected].
The above is a press release from the WSP. The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its content.