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Clark County deputy shot and killed is drug task force detective Jeremy Brown

Jeremy Brown, a 13-year deputy at the Clark County Sheriff’s Office who was most recently a detective on a regional drug task force, is the deputy shot and killed Friday night, OPB has learned.

Two people who fled the shooting have been apprehended, investigators said. A third person, Guillermo O. Raya, 26, remains at large. Investigators described Raya as “armed and dangerous” with a warrant out for his arrest.

Brown, 46, joined the sheriff’s office in August 2007, according to state records. He had stints working with the Washington Department of Corrections and the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office in Montana, as well. Brown served in the United States Marine Corps from 1993 to 1995, according to investigative records.

For the last four years, Brown served as a detective on a drug task force with sheriff’s deputies and officers from the Vancouver Police Department. He was one of three deputies who fatally shot Kevin Peterson Jr. last October when a drug sting went awry.

While many details leading up to the officer’s death have not been disclosed, neighbors to the scene have told OPB they saw unmarked vehicles, often driven by undercover narcotics officers, arriving after shots rang out.

Investigators on Saturday said Brown was conducting surveillance around 6:52 p.m. at an apartment complex called The Pointe Apartments in east Vancouver. The apartments are located near where State Route 500 meets Interstate 205. It’s unclear what Brown and others were investigating.

About the same time other deputies couldn’t reach Brown via radio, a neighbor in the area heard a gunshot and called 911 to report a male bleeding inside a vehicle.

Multiple people fled the scene, investigators said. A vehicle crashed near Padden Parkway and I-205. Then, investigators said, three occupants fled on foot.

Law enforcement agencies apprehended a man and a woman, identified by investigators as Abran Raya-Leon, 28, and Misty Raya, 35. Police arrested both on unrelated felony warrants, investigators said.

The third man, Guillermo Raya, was not taken into custody. Kim Kapp, a Vancouver Police Department spokesperson, said “the investigation is continuing.”

Brown is the first deputy killed in the line of duty in Clark County for more than 15 years. Sgt. Brad Crawford died July 30, 2004, when a fleeing suspect rammed his truck into Crawford’s patrol car.

Several public officials and groups commented on Brown’s death Saturday. U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, lamented his death. State Rep. Brandon Vick, R-Vancouver, called it a “tragic loss.”

NAACP’s Vancouver chapter noted that the violence is part of a broader issue.

“On a macro level, this officer like many in our community, is a victim of the violence that occurs in policing because of the way the system is set up,” the organization said in a statement.

Brown’s name sprung into the spotlight last fall after he shot and killed Peterson, a Black man, alongside two other deputies. Brown was one of the undercover officers who intended to bust Peterson for selling Xanax.

As Peterson fled from several detectives at the parking lot of a Hazel Dell hotel, he ran south to a former bank where he encountered Brown and two other deputies. The other offices fired before Brown.

Brown eventually fired, too. He told investigators Peterson aimed at him. Peterson’s family has maintained that Peterson could have been holding a phone, as he was also FaceTiming with his girlfriend at the time.

When talking about his decision whether or not to fire, Brown told investigators he was “keenly aware of today’s (political) climate.”

“I’ve been doing this job for, you know, 13 years. And this whole time I’ve decided I will not pull the trigger unless I absolutely have to.”

Copyright 2021 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Troy Brynelson