A 911 caller was shot when Vancouver Police went out on a manhunt. According to the Washington authorities, the situation was an accident.
On Halloween, a man dialed the emergency number to report a shooting suspect and his car in the area. This initiated a manhunt for the 59-year-old man suspected of shooting his neighbor that morning. A cell phone trace confirmed that Kendall was in the immediate area before officers from the Vancouver Police Department arrived to defuse the situation.
John Kendall was suspected of having shot 33-year-old Abigail Mounce in the face with a rifle, and then fleeing four miles, where he’d parked his car and fled into the woods.
A SWAT team arrived, looking for a man matching the suspect’s description. Police reported seeing a man fitting the description, not knowing that the caller, who has decided to remain anonymous, was still in the area.
The police explained what they knew of the situation, according to The Oreganian.
“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 911 caller was the man they had shot in the leg, and even though he was armed, he wasn’t the target they were after. Apparently the citizen had armed himself in case John Kendall decided to attack him, out of self defense. After being shot in the leg, the citizen took cover behind a pile of gravel and shot back at the police.
It is unknown why the citizen shot back at the officers. Now wounded and having defended himself from the police, he dialed 911 again to report that he had been shot. The shooting was over by this time, and having determined he wasn’t a threat, officers made their way over to offer medical attention.
The 911 caller they had shot was given first aid and taken to the local hospital.
Vancouver police mistakenly shot a 911 caller during the manhunt for John Kendall http://t.co/IbYG04vsGd
— KOIN News (@KOINNews) November 12, 2014
It was discovered later that Kendall and his vehicle had been partially obscured from view of the SWAT team, and apparently shot himself. He was dead before Vancouver Police found him.
Authorities stated that the citizen and John Kendall did not know each other.
The police who fired on the 911 caller were Corporal Chris LeBlanc, Officer Brian Frances, and Clark County Deputy Anthony Spainhower. All three officers have been placed on paid administrative leave as of Tuesday as investigations continue to determine whose bullet struck him.
[Image via Stephen Hui / Straight]