Man suspected of shooting Vancouver officer has extensive criminal past

Man suspected of shooting Vancouver officer has extensive criminal past »Play Video
James Todd Sapp appears in court Tuesday, July 1, 2014 accused of shooting and wounding a Vancouver police officer during a traffic stop Monday morning.

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Investigators have revealed a lot of new information about the shooting that wounded a police officer Monday morning in Vancouver.

The officer, who was shot seven times during a traffic stop, is 32-year-old Dustin Goudschaal. He’s now listed in satisfactory and stable condition.

KATU’s On Your Side Investigators have discovered the suspect, James Todd Sapp, has an extensive criminal history.

He was accused of choking a 12-year-old boy in Ridgefield four years ago, according to KATU’s news partners at The Columbian.

Authorities say Sapp is a white supremacist who's been convicted of six felonies and arrested several times on multiple possession of a controlled substance charges, attempts to elude police and riot with a deadly weapon.

Sapp was led into a courtroom wearing an anti-suicide smock Tuesday morning. The piece of clothing is said to be too thick to fold or roll into a makeshift noose.

“The defendant just made first appearance on one count of attempted murder of a police officer,” said Tony Golik, the prosecuting attorney. “He also made first appearance on one count of robbery in the first degree."

Golik pointed out that Sapp is considered innocent until proven guilty, but he also handed KATU a scathing investigating officer's report. It says Sapp is affiliated with a white supremacist group, that he has a tattoo of a swastika on his back and that he admitted to buying heroin Monday morning.

The investigating officer's report says Sapp was riding in a black truck with another man, Timothy Plantenberg, when Officer Goudschaaal pulled them over on a motorcycle. The report says Sapp shot Goudschaal seven times before Sapp drove off, crashing nearby.

Police say after the shooting Sapp tried and failed to carjack a vehicle. They say he then successfully carjacked another before he crashed again and was ultimately caught.

Plantenberg, the man Sapp was with, was detained, questioned and released. Sapp is behind bars on $10 million bail. He’s scheduled to be arraigned next Tuesday.