Officer-involved: Teen died of gunshots to back, autopsy shows

Officer-involved: Teen died of gunshots to back, autopsy shows »Play Video
A 16-year-old boy, whom KATU News is not identifying because he's a minor, appears in court Monday on a weapons charge. Another 16-year-old, who was with the suspect Friday night, was shot and killed by Vancouver police after they say he reached for a gun.

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) - Autopsy results show a 16-year-old home invasion suspect killed by a Vancouver officer was shot in the back.
   
The Clark County medical examiner's office said Monday that Douglas E. Combs of Vancouver died of the gunshot wounds.

He was called a suspect in a home invasion shooting Friday that sent a man to the hospital with serious injuries, and he was also suspected in two armed robberies the same day.
   
Almost 23 hours after the crimes started, police confronted Combs and another 16-year-old from Vancouver as they left a concert. Police said the boys took off and that Combs reached for a gun.
   
The other 16-year-old appeared in court Monday. He faces a weapons charge and was held without bail until his next court appearance Wednesday morning.

The boy's mother was also there and spoke but was hard to hear in court; however, she gave indications her son is where he needs to be: in custody.

"We recommend that he stay in custody," she said. "His behavior the last few weeks – he needs to be detained."

The suspect's mother would not comment after the court appearance was over.

The family of Combs sees the medical report just one way: They believe Combs was running away when he was shot.

Combs' brother, Brian, during a phone conversation didn't deny Douglas was in serious trouble and needed to be arrested. But the medical examiner’s report makes him seriously question things.

"I think this was handled extremely poorly and that this confirms my suspicious they weren't really trying to capture him," Brian Combs said. "They handled this extremely bad, and it sounds like they shot him in the back as he was trying to run."

The Vancouver Police Department did not returned calls or emails requesting comment on the autopsy report.

But in a news release issued Monday evening, Vancouver Police Department spokeswoman Kim Kapp said it is still too early in the investigation to draw any conclusions about the shooting.

"In response to information released by the Clark County Medical Examiner, the City reminds the public that this matter remains an active investigation that has only just begun," Kapp wrote. "Until the full investigation is completed it is premature to draw any conclusions as to what occurred from the release of a single, isolated piece of information.  The City will not respond to further media inquiries regarding this matter until after the criminal investigation has been completed and the Prosecuting Attorney has reviewed the case and issued a decision."

Kapp also said the officer involved in the shooting, 44-year-old Cpl. Marshall Henderson, has been placed on administrative leave. He's been with the Vancouver Police Department for 15 years.