About 100 family members and friends of a Vancouver man fatally shot Sunday by Clark County sheriff’s deputies gathered in protest Wednesday, demanding justice for their loved one.
Two deputies fatally shot Kfin Karuo after a car chase that ended at Northeast 49th Street and 122nd Avenue. The Clark County Medical Examiner confirmed Tuesday that Karuo, 28, died from a gunshot wound to the torso.
His death was ruled a homicide.
Karuo’s large extended family gathered Wednesday around a memorial of flowers, candles and balloons near the location where he was killed. Family members held up signs that read “Justice 4 Kfin,” “Release Deputies Names,” and “K-Drop,” Karuo’s nickname.
“We just want the truth,” said Bitto Hallucky, one of Karuo’s cousins.
The two Clark County sheriff’s deputies who shot at Karuo have not been publicly identified. Both were put on critical incident leave, which is standard practice after law enforcement shootings.
Karuo was a leader at the Chuukese Community Church and often organized activities in the community. The Chuuk Islands are a part of the Federated States of Micronesia, and Karuo’s family was originally from Paata, said Kiwae Anuki, one of his cousins.
He was often dancing or goofing around, Anuki said, and everyone listened to him.
“Kfin was a great uncle to my kids,” Anuki said. “People just look at him and they think he’s a bad person, but he has a very good heart. He cares for all of our kids, not just his.”
Another cousin, Kermy Ichita, said although many of his family members are cousins, they refer to each other as brothers and sisters. Karuo always had his family’s back, she said.
Karuo also touched the lives of neighbors and children who live in the apartment complex he stayed in. Several of them showed up to Wednesday’s protest, and one kids said Karuo was always there for him if he needed to talk to someone.
After the demonstration, family members trickled back to the apartment complex to host a prayer fellowship for Karuo and his father, who also died Sunday.
The family members will continue to pray every night until the men’s funerals are held and their remains are sent to be buried by family members in Chuuk, Hallucky said.
The sheriff’s office said the driver in Sunday’s pursuit leading to the shooting, later identified as Karuo, was wanted on allegations of first-degree assault with a gun and fled a traffic stop.
Officials said he pointed a gun at deputies, who then fired at him. A photo of the handgun recovered at the scene was released Tuesday.
Officials have not released additional details about the circumstances of the shooting or why deputies tried to stop Karuo.
The Clark County Clerks confirmed Wednesday that he had no pending charges or warrants for his arrest filed recently. His last documented encounter with the law was three years ago, in 2018.
It’s still unclear what led deputies to pursue him based on probable cause of first-degree assault.
The Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team — which comprises detectives from the Vancouver, Battle Ground and Camas police departments — is investigating Karuo’s shooting death. According to state requirements for an independent investigative team, two non-law enforcement community members are also included.
After the investigation is completed, the case will be forwarded to the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review.
-- Jaimie Ding
[email protected]; 503-221-4395; @j_dingdingding
Source : https://www.oregonlive.com/clark-county/2021/10/family-friends-demand-justice-for-vancouver-man-shot-by-clark-county-sheriffs-deputies.html770