On Halloween, a concerned citizen in Vancouver, WA called 911 to report the location of the car of a shooting suspect who was the object of a police manhunt. Shortly thereafter, SWAT officers arrived on the scene and shot the 911 caller, mistakenly presuming that he was the shooting suspect.
By Barry Donegan @ Ben Swann
On Halloween morning, 59-year-old Vancouver, WA resident John Kendall allegedly shot his neighbor Abigail Mounce with a rifle, striking her in the face. He then drove to a nearby wooded area, ditched his car, walked into the woods on foot, and took his own life. According to KGW-TV, Mounce is expected to survive her injuries, but doctors may not be able to save her right eye.
After the shooting was initially reported, police initiated a manhunt in an effort to apprehend Kendall. A concerned citizen, who asked to remain anonymous, stumbled across Kendall’s car and, hoping to assist police in the manhunt, called 911 to report the location of the vehicle. The Oregonian notes that the unidentified man decided to wait at the location for police to arrive.
SWAT officers honed in on Kendall’s cell phone signal and determined that he was in the area where the citizen reported seeing his car. Police then made their way to the location reported by the concerned citizen and, upon arrival, confused him for the suspect and opened fire on him with multiple rounds, hitting him in the leg. A representative from the Vancouver Police Department told KGW-TV, “Law enforcement personnel watched as the citizen (believed to be Kendall) exited his vehicle and circled behind his trunk. Fearing that he armed himself, law enforcement fired multiple shots at the individual in order to stop the perceived threat before the citizen could enter the woods.”
The unidentified 911 caller then jumped for cover behind a pile of gravel and shot back a single time, striking no one, before calling 911 again to try and clear up the confusion. Police realized that he was not the suspect, stopped firing, gave the man first aid, and took him to the hospital. He was released the following day. According to KOIN-TV 6, Vancouver police officials claim that the 911 caller bore a resemblance to suspect John Kendall.
Shortly after police mistakenly shot the man who called to assist them in their manhunt, officers found the suspect’s body, already deceased, in the nearby woods.
Vancouver Police Department spokeswoman Kim Kapp identified the officers involved in the shooting as Clark County Deputy Anthony Spainhower, Vancouver Police Officer Brian Frances, and Vancouver Police Corporal Chris LeBlanc. Though police investigators are not sure yet which officer fired the shot that hit the unidentified Good Samaritan, an eyewitness interviewed by The Oregonian described hearing four or five shots at the time of the incident.
The three officers involved in the shooting were placed on paid administrative leave pending the results of an internal investigation, which Vancouver police representative Kim Kapp said could be wrapped up by Thanksgiving.