Man killed by Vancouver police was Iraq veteran

  • Thu Sep 9th, 2010 6:00am
  • News

Associated Press

VANCOUVER, Wash. — A 22-year-old man fatally shot by Vancouver police was an Oregon Army National Guard soldier who served 12 months in Iraq, a National Guard spokesman confirms.

Spc. Nikkolas W. Lookabill deployed in May 2009 as a member of the 41st Infantry Brigade after joining the guard in 2008, Guard spokesman Capt. Stephen Bomar said. Lookabill returned in May.

Guard officials confirmed Lookabill’s military status Wednesday after the man was identified by Vancouver police.

Police said three officers fired at the Vancouver man early Tuesday morning after they responded to a report of a man armed with a handgun walking in a neighborhood. Police spokeswoman Kim Kapp said the man was “engaging in threatening activity” and refusing police commands to drop the gun when he was shot.

Also Wednesday, police released the names of the officers. They are Sgt. John Schultz, 41; Officer Frank Gomez, 32, and Officer Gerardo Gutierrez, 38.

They are on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated. They were not injured.

The three officers “have excellent work experience, exemplary records,” Kapp told The Columbian.

The information police released Wednesday did not include any new details about the shooting, including how many shots were fired.

Members of the Clark County Regional Crimes Team, which includes sheriff’s and Vancouver police detectives, are handling the investigation. Their findings will be forwarded to the Clark County prosecutor’s office.

Lookabill’s father told The Oregonian by phone Wednesday night that neither he nor the man’s mother was up to talking about their son’s death.

Lookabill was part of a unit that provided gate and tower security at Camp Victory in Baghdad, the newspaper reported.

Jennifer Sanders of Portland went to middle school and part of high school with Lookabill in Washougal. She reconnected with him a few months ago, after his return from Iraq.

Sanders told The Oregonian that Lookabill was “just such a happy kid” and “always had everyone smiling.”

She said he rarely discussed his time in Iraq.

“The only thing that he ever said to me is that he didn’t want to go back. It was hell. It was horrible,” she said.