On March 25, 2013 the Vancouver Police Department received notification from the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney's Office that the investigation into the January 18, 2013 officer involved shooting has been concluded. The incident involved Vancouver Police Detective Spencer Harris, Department of Corrections Officer Brian Ford and Deputy Marshal Vincent Byford. Based on the investigation, the Prosecuting Attorney concluded that the Detectives acted lawfully because each was placed in fear for their own lives or the lives of their fellow officers and that their actions were clearly reasonable, justifiable and lawful.
Re-cap of the incident:
Jesse France was wanted by Law Enforcement for investigation of an incident that occurred on December 17, 2012. In that case, the driver of a silver Acura eluded police and crashed into multiple vehicles. The driver fled the scene of the final crash on foot. A witness to the crash attempted to detain the Acura driver at the crash scene. The witness reported when he attempted to detain the suspect who was running from the scene of the crash, the suspect reacted by pulling a pistol from his pocket, racking the slide of the weapon and pointing the weapon at the witness's face. Investigation of this incident identified Jesse France as the suspect, and he was sought for investigation of the following crimes: Assault First Degree, Unlawful Possession of Firearm, Hit and Run, Reckless Driving and Driving while suspended.
France was also wanted by Law Enforcement for an outstanding felony warrant. The warrant was issued for a probation violation by the Department of Corrections. Law Enforcement intelligence sources stated France was armed with a firearm, was driving stolen cars, and was making statements that he was not going back to prison.
On January 18, 2013, Detectives from the U.S. Marshals Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force located Jesse France at the Addison Apartment complex. France and two other individuals emerged from an alcove of a building at the complex. One of the Detectives saw France lift his shirt and display what the Detective perceived to be pistol in his waistband. That Detective then called out on his radio that France might, "shoot me right now, he's got a gun." Detectives from the Task Force gave verbal commands to France including "police, don't move, put your hands up, I know you have a gun." France reacted by backing the Honda up as fast as he could and the Honda hit the bumper of a law enforcement truck at the scene. France pulled forward and then accelerated in reverse fast and struck the law enforcement truck extremely hard a second time. France drove forward though a flower bed right next to the apartment building and up a berm. France stopped on the berm and then r
eversed back fast into the building, striking the building with the back of the Honda. Two Detectives were standing in front of the vehicle with the third next to the vehicle. France was revving the engine and moved his hands from the steering wheel down to his waist band. Detectives in fear for their lives fired at France.
As part of the investigative crime scene processing, Detectives from the SW Washington Regional Major Crimes team located and removed a .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol from the waistband of the pants Mr. France wore at the time of the shooting. There were 7 rounds in the magazine and a live round in the chamber of the pistol.
With the conclusion of the criminal investigation, Vancouver Police Detective Spencer Harris immediately resumes his assignment in the West Neighborhood Response Team as a Task Force Officer with the U.S. Marshals Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force.
Vancouver Police Det. Spencer Harris has served in law enforcement for 13 years with the Vancouver Police Department. He has been a member of the SW Washington Region SWAT Team for 10 years, was a member of the Neighborhood Response Team for 3.5 years and the Career Criminal Apprehension Team for 2 years. Det. Harris was awarded a Vancouver Police Department Team Commendation in 2006 and 2012 and a Vancouver Police Department Meritorious Service Award in 2008.
The Vancouver Police Department will conduct an internal review as part of normal protocol following the conclusion of the criminal investigation.