By John Killen
VANCOUVER, Wash. — The Vancouver police officer who was shot and critically injured during a traffic stop remained alert long enough on the ambulance ride to the hospital to tell another officer what happened during the attack.
Officer Dustin Goudschaal was able to talk to Officer Jeffery Starks despite being shot seven times, according to court documents released Tuesday. Goudschaal had just pulled over a pickup truck about 11:30 a.m. Monday near Northeast 162nd Avenue and Northeast 34th Street when he was shot.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Goudschaal's condition had been upgraded to "satisfactory," said Kim Kapp, spokeswoman for Vancouver police.
That marks a significant improvement. He was admitted to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in critical condition. Conditions in Washington state are critical, serious and satisfactory.
They're based on vital signs, said Michelle Halfhill, a spokeswoman for PeaceHealth. "A patient in satisfactory condition is conscious and comfortable and the indicators are good."
James Todd Sapp, 47, the man accused of shooting Goudschaal, made an initial appearance Tuesday in Clark County Superior Court. Sapp "has been identified" as being a member of a white supremacist group, and has tattoos of a swastika and the words "White Pride," according to the probable cause affidavit in the case.
He goes by the street name "Cotton," the document says. Sapp has been accused of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree robbery and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
According to the affidavit, Goudschaal told the other officer that he had stopped a black pickup and was approaching the truck when the driver leaned out the window and shot him.
He also said there were two people inside — the driver and a passenger — and that the truck had a 55-gallon drum in its bed.
Witness Earlene "Sam" Marie Anderson was driving east on Northeast 34th Street when she saw a motorcycle officer stop a full-size black pickup, the affidavit says. She told Detective Beth Luvera that as she drove alongside, she saw the driver of the truck "bring his head out the window, bring his right hand out the open ... window and fire a semi-automatic handgun at the officer at least five times."
Anderson also said she saw shell casings being ejected from the handgun. As the pickup drove away, Anderson stopped and went to Goudschaal, who asked her to help him. She said she helped place a bandage on Goudschaal's neck.
Timothy Plantenberg, who police believe was the passenger in the pickup, told Detectives John Ringo and Lawrence Zapata that he and "Cotton" were driving around when a motorcycle officer stopped them. Plantenberg told detectives that as the officer approached, Sapp "came up with a gun from between his legs ... then fired multiple gunshots at the officer," the affidavit says.
He also said that as Sapp drove away, "the police officer shot back at their truck." As they drove away, Plantenberg said he grabbed the steering wheel to make Sapp crash so he could get out. He ran into a woman's house and called his mother, he told detectives. He was waiting for his mother when police found him, the affidavit says.
Sapp, on the other hand, told Detective Wally Stefan that he was in the truck with a man named "Dan" and had bought heroin from Dan earlier in the morning. He said he and Dan had gone to three different gas stations that morning and used a credit card provided by Dan to buy gasoline to resell later.
They had made two purchases when a motorcycle officer tried to pull them over. He said he was driving, but Dan told him not to stop because Dan had warrants. Sapp said he stopped anyway and as the officer approached, Dan leaned over him and fired a handgun "multiple times at the officer."
The affidavit says after the black truck crashed, a man believed to be Sapp ran up to 88-year-old Donald L. Lowry and stole the keys to his Chevrolet S10 pickup. Another man, David Leon Green, told detectives that he had been following Sapp since the black pickup had crashed and he saw Sapp assault Lowry and tried to intervene.
He said Sapp then punched him in the face. Police arrested Sapp a short time later after he crashed the second pickup. At Tuesday's court appearance, Sapp's bail was set at $10 million and his next court appearance was scheduled for 9 a.m. July 8. He was also appointed an attorney.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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