Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team Concludes Investigation Into Officer-Involved Shooting

Vancouver, Wash. – The Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team (LCMCT) has wrapped up its investigation of the officer-involved shooting incident that occurred on May 30, 2023, in the 6700 block of East Mill Plain Blvd in Vancouver. Assisted by the Washington State Patrol Crime Scene Response Team and Criminal Investigation Division, LCMCT conducted a thorough examination of the case.

Throughout the investigation, multiple witnesses were interviewed, and various sources of video evidence, including store surveillance footage and officers’ body-worn cameras, were reviewed.

Based on the gathered information, LCMCT investigators have established the following facts:

On May 30, 2023, members of the Vancouver Police Neighborhood Response Team, in collaboration with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Detectives Unit, were attempting to apprehend Joshua James Wilson, a 43-year-old resident of Vancouver. Wilson was wanted for active arrest warrants, and law enforcement agencies had been alerted about his potential armed status and threats to harm officers rather than be taken into custody.

Wilson was also a suspect in three recent incidents:

  1. Commercial Burglary at 2400 E. Evergreen Blvd, Vancouver, on May 20, 2023.
  2. Armed Robbery at 6510 E. Mill Plain Blvd, Vancouver, on May 21, 2023.
  3. Armed Robbery at 1901 Kauffman Ave, Vancouver, on May 29, 2023.

A team of officers had formed an arrest group in the parking lot near Wilson’s vehicle. As Wilson exited the Safeway, he approached his vehicle but disregarded officers’ commands to halt and fled in a westerly direction on foot. Video footage captured Wilson reaching behind his back, prompting officers to announce his possession of a firearm. Wilson was observed pointing a pistol directly at a uniformed police officer, with his index finger appearing to be inside the trigger well.

In response to the perceived imminent threat to their lives, the involved officers and a deputy discharged their duty weapons, striking Wilson multiple times. Subsequently, officers provided immediate medical aid, but Wilson was pronounced deceased at the scene. A pistol was recovered from Wilson’s possession.

Further investigation revealed that Wilson’s 9mm semiautomatic pistol had a loaded magazine but no round chambered. The firearm was traced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and found to be registered to an individual from another state. Additionally, a handwritten robbery note was discovered among Wilson’s personal belongings.

A search warrant was obtained for the vehicle Wilson had been driving, leading to the discovery of additional evidence related to the aforementioned incidents. Items such as a second handwritten robbery note, a wig matching the suspect’s description, and various tools associated with burglaries were recovered. Notably, a pipe bomb categorized as an improvised explosive device was found inside the vehicle, necessitating the involvement of the Portland Metro Bomb Squad to safely disable it.

The comprehensive investigative report compiled by the Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team has been submitted to the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review and consideration of potential charges.