Man killed in shootout with Kelso police
The man, who had a criminal record that included drug charges, was identified by family as 26-year-old Jesse Ryan McMillan, The Daily News reported. Police said McMillan was involved in a car crash before the shooting, but fled the scene and hid in an area house. During the investigation, officers learned McMillan had a felony warrant for his arrest.
Authorities said McMillan wounded a Kelso officer, who was treated for a leg injury and released from the hospital.
His wife, 26-year-old Kala McMillan, and his family and friends stared grim-faced from behind a line of yellow police tape Saturday afternoon. Some said McMillan struggled with drugs and mental illness, but said they couldn’t believe he had been armed when he was shot.
Kayla Fittro, a longtime friend of the family, said McMillan hit a woman’s car near the Big Lots store in west Kelso. McMillan then ditched the car he had been driving and ran to his mother’s home.
Police Chief Andrew Hamilton said the suspect hid in a back bedroom of the house and refused to come out. Then, at around 10:45 a.m., he emerged from the bedroom shooting a handgun.
Kala McMillan said she spoke with her husband on the phone and was on her way back from work at an adult care center north of Castle Rock when the shooting happened. Kala McMillan said she called police and told them, “I can get him out if you just let me get there.”
A short time later, she said, “I got a phone call that they had shot him 12 times and he’s dead.”
“I was sure I could get him out,” she added.
In November, the Longview police detectives said they caught McMillan with 15 prepackaged baggies of heroin as well as synthetic drugs and marijuana. The detectives later served a search warrant on McMillan’s Sunset Way apartment, where they reported finding more heroin, drug paraphernalia, three pistols and numerous rounds of ammunition. The status of the case was unknown Saturday.
McMillan was sentenced to more than six years in prison in 2009 for snatching a purse out of a woman’s car in the Kelso Safeway parking lot.
Asked why her husband would hide from police, Kala McMillan said, “He has a DOC (Department of Corrections) warrant and he’s not stable on his medication.”
She said her husband was recently released from jail, where he had not been allowed to take his medication.
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