Officer shoots at suspect during Vancouver chase; suspect still at large

PORTLAND, Ore. — A Vancouver police officer shot at a suspect during a police chase early Tuesday morning that started in Vancouver and crossed into Oregon.

The officer said he thought the suspect fired at him first, so he fired back. The officer ended the pursuit near the Jantzen Beach area to be treated for minor injuries from flying glass, police said.

The suspect’s car was found unoccupied near Interstate 5 and the Portland VA Medical Center campus in Vancouver. The Southwest Washington Regional SWAT team, aided by a K-9, searched the area but didn’t find the suspect.

Police said they know who the suspect is, though they haven’t released his name. They said they don’t believe there’s any threat to the general public.

The pursuit started around 1 a.m. Tuesday when the officer noticed two cars, one driven by a man and the other by a woman, at the intersection of East Fourth Plain Boulevard and Grand Boulevard. The officer said he thought shots were fired from one car at the other.

The man then started driving the wrong way, traveling west in the eastbound lanes of East Fourth Plain Boulevard, and the officer began to pursue the suspect. The woman driving the other car continued to follow.

The officer shot at the man during the pursuit. He said he believes the suspect fired at him first, after which he returned fire.

The man got onto I-5 and started driving south in the northbound lanes of the freeway and crossed into Oregon.

The officer ended the pursuit at that point, stopping near Jantzen Beach to be treated for minor injuries. The woman stopped at Jantzen Beach and spoke to police, who learned that the man and the woman know each other and are in a domestic relationship.

The suspect’s car was seen again on I-5 north at the Fourth Plain exit and was then found unoccupied near I-5 and the VA campus.

Police said there haven’t been any other reports of injuries from the shooting or the chase.

The Vancouver Police Department Major Crimes Team is leading the investigation. The involved officer has been placed on critical incident leave, per standard protocol.

Police said they’ll release more information as it becomes available.

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