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State, tribal police shoot driver of vehicle that fled Kelso traffic stop Thursday
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State, tribal police shoot driver of vehicle that fled Kelso traffic stop Thursday

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State and tribal police shot the driver of a vehicle Thursday following a chase that started in Kelso and ended with arrests near ilani Casino in Ridgefield.

The driver and a passenger were taken into custody and the driver is “in serious but stable condition” at a hospital, according to the Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Team, which is investigating the officer-involved shooting.

The names of the driver, passenger and officers who fired their weapons have not been released. The lead investigator for the incident at the Clark County Sheriff’s Office could not be reached for comment.

A Kelso officer pulled the driver over during a traffic stop Thursday, but he sped away, according to the investigative team.

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Washington State Patrol troopers reported seeing a vehicle that matched the description of the fleeing driver’s car around 7:15 p.m.

The driver sped up to over 100 mph on Interstate 5 when troopers tried to pull him over, according to the state.

The driver took the ilani Casino exit and hit another vehicle on the off ramp, disabling the fleeing vehicle in the nearby roundabout, according to the investigative team.

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The team reported Washington State Patrol troopers and Cowlitz tribal police officers tried to “gain compliance” from the driver and passenger and both agencies fired their service weapons at them, striking the driver.

The passenger left the vehicle, but the driver told officers “he had a firearm and was ready to die,” according to the team. The organization reported the driver used a methamphetamine pipe several times during a 20-minute negotiation until he exited the vehicle.

A firearm was later recovered from his car, according to the investigative team.

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