Investigators release video of Kevin Peterson Jr. shooting death

Deputies fired 34 rounds, hit 21-year-old Camas man four times; investigative team will forward report to Pierce County district attorney's office for review

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Kevin Peterson Jr., 21, of Camas, was killed Oct. 29, 2020, in a police-involved shooting in Vancouver. (Photo by Jake Thompson)

Investigators looking into the Oct. 29 police-involved shooting death of a 21-year-old Camas man have released new details and video showing the moments surrounding the death of Kevin Peterson, Jr.

The investigators said Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputies involved in the shooting were not wearing body cameras and did not have vehicle cameras. 

Instead, the investigators compiled video taken from nearby surveillance cameras and created what they called a “video summary” of the shooting. 

The video shows Peterson running through the parking lots of a Quality Inn and U.S. Bank off Highway 99 in Vancouver with officers in pursuit. It also shows Peterson pointing what appears to be a handgun and then falling to the ground after three deputies opened fire. 

“The deputies fired a total of 34 rounds, with four rounds striking Peterson Jr.,” the investigative team’s report released earlier today noted. “The deputies told investigators Peterson Jr. had aimed his firearm at them while multiple gunshots were going off around them. They believed Peterson Jr. had fired or had already shot at them.”

Investigators said earlier this month that there is no evidence that the Glock semi-automatic handgun found near Peterson Jr.’s body was fired during the incident. 

“There were two volleys of gunfire in this incident,” the investigators stated today. “The first occurred when Peterson Jr. reportedly ignored commands, pulled his handgun out of his sweatshirt pocket and then ran towards the containment officers. Peterson Jr. then reportedly pointed his handgun at the deputies. The second volley occurred after Peterson (Jr.) fell, then sat up and reportedly pointed the firearm at deputies again. Shortly after the shooting, one of the involved deputies advised via radio that he thought Peterson may have fired “a couple” shots in their direction.”

Peterson Jr.’s father, Kevin Peterson Sr., today released the following statement to the media through the family’s attorney:  “Kevin recently became a father. He was excited about fatherhood. The Sheriff and others lied when they said Kevin shot at officers. Now we see the video, and Kevin’s back was toward the officers, but they shot him anyway. They chased him down, trapped him, and killed him.”

The independent investigation team, which is being led by Cowlitz County law enforcement officials, is completing its investigation into Peterson Jr.’s death and will now forward the case to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office for a review. 

Additional reports, including lab results and the medical examiner’s report, are still pending and will also be turned over to the outside prosecuting attorney’s office for review.