Kelso police detective Tim Gower and sergeant Rich Fletcher have been cleared of wrongdoing in the shooting of Brian Butts and will return to full duty Saturday, the Kelso police department announced late Friday afternoon.
An administrative investigation into the shooting found that both officers acted within department policy, KPD said. Each has worked for the department for 24 years.
The officers have been on paid administrative leave since the shooting, a standard procedure in such cases.
Police say Butts, 33, of Kalama was seen tromping out of the woods wet and dirty with a firearm on Spencer Creek Road on April 14, a day after investigators say he shot and killed Cowlitz County Sheriff’s deputy Justin DeRosier along Fallert Road in Kalama.
Butts fired at the officers, who returned fire and killed him, ending a nearly 22-hour manhunt for DeRosier’s killer, authorities say. Neither officer involved was wounded.
An autopsy by the Cowlitz County Coroner’s Office found Butts died from multiple gunshot wounds.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office said in late April that Butts was carrying a semi-automatic handgun and about 45 grams of suspected methamphetamine at the time of his death.
The investigation into the deaths of both DeRosier and Butts is continuing.