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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Investigators: Clark County Detective Brown used force the night he died

UPDATED: Fri., July 30, 2021

Law enforcement officers investigate the fatal shooting of Clark County sheriff's Detective Jeremy Brown at the Pointe Apartments on Friday evening.  (Amanda Cowan/Columbian)
Law enforcement officers investigate the fatal shooting of Clark County sheriff's Detective Jeremy Brown at the Pointe Apartments on Friday evening. (Amanda Cowan/Columbian)
By Becca Robbins (Vancouver, Wash.) Columbian

Investigators said Friday that slain Clark County sheriff’s Detective Jeremy Brown used force the night he was fatally shot in his vehicle as he worked undercover at The Pointe Apartments in east Vancouver.

The Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team, led by the Vancouver Police Department, is investigating Brown’s use of force. The agency said it was “activated” to investigate, even though Brown’s use of force did not result in anyone else’s death or substantial bodily harm, according to a press release.

Investigators did not provide details about Brown’s use of force.

However, according to court filings, Brown’s alleged shooter, Guillermo Raya Leon, reportedly told his brother and sister-in-law that Brown, 46, fired at him first and that he shot back twice and ducked so he wasn’t hit.

Investigators said Raya Leon, 26, admitted to them that he confronted and shot Brown once with a revolver while Brown was seated in an unmarked police SUV on the evening of July 23.

Multiple witnesses said they heard one shot, a pause and then several more gunshots — about five total, according to court records.

Brown was taken to a hospital, where he died, court records say. He suffered a gunshot wound to the chest.

Detectives had been following Raya Leon, his brother, Abran Raya Leon, and his brother’s wife, Misty Raya, that day as part of an investigation into the theft of a cache of 32 firearms and 20,000 to 30,000 rounds of ammunition from a Hazel Dell storage unit in early June. Investigators say they believe the weapon used to shoot Brown is one of the stolen guns.

Guillermo Raya Leon is being held in the Clark County Jail on charges of aggravated first-degree murder and possession of a stolen firearm.

An arrest warrant was issued Tuesday for Abran Raya Leon, 28, who’s facing first-degree rendering criminal assistance for allegedly driving the getaway vehicle from the shooting scene. He is currently in federal custody.

Raya, 35, appeared earlier this week in Clark County Superior Court in connection with the storage unit burglary.

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