Report: Deputy's shots, not suspect's knife, killed officer

An autopsy has confirmed that gunshots from a fellow law enforcement officer — not stab wounds from a robbery suspect — killed a Vancouver police officer over the weekend.

The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office on Tuesday issued the cause of death for Vancouver Police Department officer Donald Sahota, 52, who was shot by a sheriff’s deputy who mistook him for the suspect.

Sahota was off-duty at his home on Saturday night when a man started banging on his front door, saying he’d been in a car crash and needed help. Sahota’s wife called 911 and learned that the man matched the description of a suspect in a gas station robbery.

Authorities say that Sahota’s wife informed the dispatcher that her husband was an armed, off-duty officer who was going outside to detain the suspect.

The suspect began fighting with Sahota in the driveway and stabbed him repeatedly before breaking free and running into the house. Sahota chased after the suspect and was shot and killed on his front porch by a deputy who had just arrived.

The identity of the deputy who fired the shots was not expected to be released until late this week. He has been placed on "critical incident leave," said Troy Brightbill, chief criminal deputy of the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office and commander of the Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team, which is reviewing the deputy’s use of force.

The suspect, identified as Julio Cesar Segura, 20, is being held on $5 million bail after being arrested for investigation of attempted first-degree murder, robbery and other charges.

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