Vancouver police identify wounded officer, suspect in shooting

Vancouver police identify wounded officer, suspect in shooting
Officer Dustin Goudschaal (left) is seen in a photo from Vancouver police.

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Vancouver police identified the officer who was shot and wounded during a traffic stop on Monday.

Dustin Goudschaal, 32, is in satisfactory and stable condition at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, according to police spokesman Kim Kapp. Goudschaal was shot seven times, court documents said.

Goudschaal was hired by the Vancouver Police Department in 2008, and has been a traffic motor officer since last year. He previously worked as an officer with the University of Arizona Police Department. 

Police also released the name of the suspect in Monday’s shooting. James Todd Sapp, 47, faces charges of attempted murder, robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Court documents say Sapp has been affiliated with a white supremacist group.

Sapp appeared in Clark County Court on Tuesday morning. A judge ordered Sapp held on $10 million bail. His next scheduled court appearance is July 8.

Witness comes to officer's aid

The shooting happened around 11:30 a.m. on Monday. Court documents say Sapp was driving a black pickup truck, which was registered to his wife and had two different license plates, when Officer Goudschaal stopped him for a traffic violation. That's when Sapp shot the officer seven times and drove away, documents said.

A woman who happened to be driving by the traffic stop told police she saw the driver shoot Officer Goudschaal "at least five times," court documents said. When the suspect drove away, the woman helped bandage a wound on Goudschaal's neck before paramedics arrived.

Sapp's truck was found crashed a few blocks away from the scene of the shooting, court documents said. Police said Sapp got out and carjacked another truck. According to court documents, Sapp took the keys from the 88-year-old truck owner and assaulted two men who tried to stop him from driving away.

Police said Sapp crashed the stolen truck. Officers took him into custody a few hours after the shooting. Law enforcement officers from across southwest Washington joined the search effort.

Police detained another man during their search who admitted to being in the truck with Sapp during the shooting. Kapp said that man was not arrested.

The man in the truck with the suspect and another witness said Officer Goudschaal returned fire as the truck drove away, according to the court documents.

Kapp could not immediately confirm that Goudschaal fired his gun and said detectives are still vetting the information that they have. She said the investigation is ongoing.

Suspect says he was not the shooter

Sapp told detectives that he was not the shooter; instead, it was, “Dan,” the man who was with him inside the truck, who fired at the police officer, according to court documents.

He said he had bought heroin from Dan earlier in the day, the court documents said.

Sapp told the detectives that he and Dan were in the process of buying gasoline at service stations to resell later when they were pulled over by a police officer.

Sapp said Dan told him not to stop because he had warrants. Sapp said he too had warrants. But when they did pull over and the officer approached the truck, Sapp said Dan leaned over and fired a handgun at the officer several times.

According to the court document, Sapp said he drove away because he panicked. He admitted to police that he crashed his truck and then took keys from an elderly man to steal his truck because people were chasing him.

Sapp's criminal history

Sapp has long criminal histories in Washington and Oregon.

In Washington, Sapp has four felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance and one felony conviction for riot with a deadly weapon.

Sapp’s previous charges in Oregon include attempting to elude police, possession of a controlled substance and unlawful use of a vehicle.

Police seeking attempted carjacking victim

While Vancouver police said one man was a victim of a carjacking during Monday's incident, they said Tuesday that they are seeking the victim of an attempted carjacking.

They are asking the public for help in identifying the victim in the attempted carjacking that happened near the 14500 block of Northeast 31st Street close to Diamond Park.

Anyone with information on the above-mentioned carjacking or that had contact with suspect James Todd Sapp, and who have not already spoken with police, is encouraged to call the Clark County Sheriff's Office Tip Line at 1-877-CRIME11 (274-6311) or ccsomcu@gmail.com.

A vigil for Officer Goudschall is being organized by Vancouver City Councilor Anne McEnerny-Ogle for Tuesday night on the front lawn of PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center at 400 N.E. Mother Joseph Place. It will begin at 8 p.m.