HAZEL DELL, WA (KPTV) - Three deputies said Kevin Peterson Jr. posed a “lethal threat” before they fired 34 rounds at him, hitting him with four shots, in a deadly shooting in Hazel Dell last month.

The city of Battle Ground released an update on the investigation Wednesday morning on behalf of the Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team. Attorneys for Peterson’s family then also released a statement Wednesday.

Image from surveillance video of Kevin Peterson Jr. before deadly shooting

Image from surveillance video of Kevin Peterson Jr. before deadly shooting, released by investigators. 

Investigators previously outlined details of their investigation Nov. 10.

Shooting aftermath

Peterson was shot and killed by deputies after running from Clark County Regional Drug Task Force officers who were attempting to arrest him for selling Xanax on the 6800 block of Northeast Highway 99 on the night of Oct. 29.

The day after the shooting, Clark County Sheriff Chuck Atkins stated Peterson “reportedly fired his weapon at the deputies.” Court documents stated, per police radio traffic, that Peterson was believed to have fired two rounds from his gun toward officers in a U.S. Bank parking lot.

The Nov. 10 report stated, “Detectives do not have evidence that Peterson fired the handgun while in the U.S. Bank lot.” A .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun was found near Peterson’s body, but investigators said no .40 caliber casings were recovered.

The shooting was followed by a vigil and protests in Vancouver. 

‘Two volleys’ of law enforcement gunfire

Per Wednesday’s update, the involved deputies told the investigative team that Peterson pointed his gun at them as he ran away, but that wasn’t shown in the surveillance video released by investigators, and it wasn’t clear from the law enforcement report whether the first deputy fired at Peterson before Peterson pointed a gun at them.

Image from surveillance video of Kevin Peterson Jr. before deadly shooting, released by investigators.

Image from surveillance video of Kevin Peterson Jr. before deadly shooting, released by investigators. 

Peterson had previously dropped the handgun while running away, and was ordered not to pick it up, according to investigators, and was subsequently ordered to drop the weapon, but the deputies said he grabbed the gun and continued to run.

“All three deputies stated that before firing their weapons, they believed that Peterson Jr. posed a lethal threat to either themselves or other responding officers,” according to the report.

The deputies fired 34 rounds and shot Peterson four times. The deputies said Peterson aimed his gun at them while gunshots were going off around them, and they believed Peterson had fired at them.

Image from surveillance video of Kevin Peterson Jr. before deadly shooting

Image from surveillance video of Kevin Peterson Jr. before deadly shooting, released by investigators. 

Wednesday’s report states: “There were two volleys of gunfire in this incident – 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 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.”

Law firm response

Herrmann Law Group is representing Peterson’s parents and the mother of his child. The firm released a statement Wednesday from Peterson's father saying Peterson was shot in the back, and deputies “Chased him down, trapped him, and killed him.”

Kevin E. Peterson Jr.

Kevin E. Peterson, photo from Jake Thompson. 

“Many questions remain unanswered. U.S. Bank surveillance video released by the investigative team was edited. The team admits, ‘video timestamps are not fully accurate’,” according to the Hermann Law Group, which is conducting an independent investigation of the shooting.

Investigators said the involved deputies do not have body cameras or vehicle cameras. The law enforcement video timeline of events was created using surveillance video from businesses in the area, drone video and dispatch audio recordings, as well as information from interviews with deputies and witnesses.

Warning graphic content: Law enforcement timeline video of deadly shooting

Detectives said prior to the initial contact from the Drug Task Force, Peterson shared a post on social media “that indicated violence toward law enforcement.”

Mark Lindquist, an attorney with Hermann Law Group, said witnesses are encouraged to contact the independent investigator hired by the law firm at 360-772-2415.

The Hermann Law Group's statement also says, "Where's the apology from the Sheriff for the false accusation claiming Kevin shot at officers? Now they are saying Kevin pointed a gun at officers, but the video doesn't show that. Instead, the video shows that Kevin was no threat. This raises a question of police protecting their own.”

Detectives said their completed law enforcement investigation will be forwarded to the prosecuting attorney for review. Additional reports, including lab results and the medical examiner’s report, are pending.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(18) comments

Jefferson

34 shots, 4 hits. Time to reconsider the whole police small arms policy and bring back the riot gun. Save a lot of embarrassment and extra time at the range.:)

Bahlsach

Case dismissed..taxpayer saving time.

Thank me later.

DefundTheMedia

I have family members that knew him. It irritates me that they say "he's just a lost soul hanging with the wrong crowd". That doesn't excuse dealing drugs, brandishing and pointing a weapon. Don't break the law, and this won't happen.

Jefferson

34 shots, only 4 hits. It's time to rethink the whole police small arms issue and bring back the riot shotguns. Save a lot of extra range time too. :)

Hookie

The blm people will try to make a hero of this low life bum ! Selling drugs and packing a gun I think he got what was coming to him and nothing more ? Thank you officers for doing your job

lanquan

Point a gun at Police and pay the price!

Cat of the Canals

I would love to hear someone try to offer a reasonable explanation for this little fact - "Investigators said the involved deputies do not have body cameras or vehicle cameras" . Did Amazon run out? $44.99 way out of budget? What is the answer? Why do they refuse to allow cameras?

Clackakitty

The systems used by the cops cost quite a bit more than $45. Consumer cameras are made to be managed by the user. The cameras used by cops have to prevent the user from getting at the video or modifying it. Those extra security precautions cost a great deal. For instance, the video captured on the cameras in the car go to a device in the trunk that is locked and tamper proof so only authorized personnel can access the video. This is called "chain of custody." Otherwise you'd have cops editing their own video before turning it over to investigators.

Toothache

High fives to the police for bringing this piece of garbage down. Too bad it didn't happen much sooner.

steveO

It should be made loud and clear: if you point a gun, resist and elude then act like you are grabbing a gun you are risking your life. No matter what color or whom you are, the fact is Law Enforcement cannot be put a risk to be killed when they are threatened. They cannot tell if the gun is real or fake, or if whatever object they are reaching for is a gun.

Worst PDX Mayor Ever

What are the parents talking about when they say the video shows he was no threat? He clearly IS pointing the gun at officers. Why do the parents not lament that when given a chance to comply with police commands, their son failed. Everything he did, selling drugs, illegally possessing a firearm, running from police, picking up the gun when he dropped it, and told not to pick it up, and then pointing it at the officers..this is why he is dead. ZERO accountability with the parents, and why? Because instead of doing a better job as parents and teaching their son to not be an armed drug dealer, in death, now they see him as a million dollar negligent death lawsuit pay day. Sad that he died, and yet another young child will grow up without a father. Tragic that the parents lost their son. But to refuse accountability for it, and to try to blame it on the police, is just disgusting and offensive.

DefundTheMedia

Well said

missy1220

What his parents and their attorney are seeing is dollar signs.

evilkitty76

Man with a gun and drugs got what he deserved. Now maybe his kid wont follow in his fathers foot steeps being the bad example has been removed.

missy1220

Yep

Merlin

No loss.

NWAmerican

This is why it is tough being a cop OR any law abiding citizen in a Democrat city. Watch the video. It is OBVIOUS that this scum brought all of this on his own. The police did everything they could to take him in without injury but he just had to act the fool.

This is one of the best videos that I've seen describing and proving an officer shooting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bP6kf5CbTk

missy1220

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