The Clark County sheriff’s deputy who mistakenly shot Vancouver police Officer Donald Sahota fired four shots within four seconds of arriving at the off-duty officer’s Battle Ground home, killing him.

Deputy Jonathan Feller described what led up to the shooting the night of Jan. 29 as being “very fluid, very fast.”

Video footage shows Feller park in front of the house, climb out of his SUV and take a shooting stance before firing his personal rifle, striking Sahota three times and the house once with .223 caliber rounds.

Feller, who told investigators his use of a personal firearm had been approved by the Sheriff’s Office, said he believed he had shot an armed robbery suspect whom law enforcement officers were pursuing.

The new information, released Friday by the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, comes from hundreds of pages of investigative reports compiled by the Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team, including photos, videos, and audio of 911 calls and interviews with those involved in the incident.

The shooting investigation will be reviewed by prosecutors to determine if Feller should face criminal charges.


In a Feb. 6 interview with investigators, Feller said he saw a man, who generally matched the description of the robbery suspect, pick up a gun from the ground in front of Sahota’s house. The man then ran toward the house. Feller said he ordered the man to get on the ground, but the man didn’t respond and tried to force his way through the front door.

A video compilation of the incident shows the man kicking the front door several times; it also states that a witness heard Feller give commands.

“I believed that if that person got in the house, that they’d kill them,” Feller said through sobs in his recorded interview with investigators. “And I had to stop that person from getting in and hurting the innocent people. So I fired my gun, multiple times, and tried to assess if they were being affected.”

He later told investigators that “it happened so fast, I didn’t see any alternative.”

But moments later, he realized he had shot Sahota, 52, the homeowner and an off-duty police officer.

“It was a blur there for a little while, and I felt hollowed out, very much gutted at that point,” he said.


The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office found that Sahota died from multiple gunshot wounds to the torso.

Shooting followed robbery, pursuit

Before the shooting, law enforcement drone and aircraft footage also captured the confrontation and struggle between Sahota and the robbery suspect, identified as Julio Cesar Segura, 20, of Yakima.

Segura stabbed Sahota three times with a folding knife, according to the investigative records. Though Sahota died from the gunshot wounds, investigators say the stab wounds to his upper torso and abdomen caused “great bodily harm.”

Prosecutors are making the case that Segura’s actions led to the killing, and they have charged him with multiple felonies, including murder.

His defense attorneys attempted to block the release of the shooting investigation, arguing Segura is a witness and that it could prejudice his criminal case. A Clark County Superior Court judge denied their motion.

At 8:14 p.m. Jan. 29, a clerk at a Chevron in Orchards called 911 to report he had just been robbed at gunpoint. He said a man pointed a handgun at his chest and demanded the money in the register. The clerk provided a suspect description and last known direction, investigative records show.


Deputies were dispatched to the robbery call. They found probable cause for first-degree robbery, 10 minutes after the clerk’s call. Two minutes later, the suspect vehicle, a silver Mercedes, was seen heading north on Interstate 205 from Padden Parkway. The Mercedes reached speeds of 100 mph, according to investigators’ video compilation.

The pursuit lasted about five minutes, before law enforcement officers deployed spike strips. The Mercedes missed the spike strip and crashed. The driver, later identified by investigators as Segura, ran from the car, according to the investigation.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to help set up a containment area. The investigation says that in addition to the Sheriff’s Office, the Vancouver, Ridgefield and Battle Ground police departments, and Washington State Patrol responded, in addition to Southwest Washington Regional SWAT and a crisis negotiator. Feller responded as part of the Quick Reaction Team, which addresses “any imminent threats that occur in the containment area” before SWAT arrives, according to investigative records.

At 8:51 p.m., responding officers received an updated description of the suspect; it was the third description that had gone out — a dark- or tan-skinned white male with shaggy hair and glasses, wearing a long-sleeve shirt, black undershirt, bluejeans, and white, flat-bill baseball cap, investigative records state.

One minute later, a drone operator spotted someone walking on Northeast 84th Avenue. That person, who investigators believed was the robbery suspect, ran toward the Sahota home’s front porch. At 8:56 p.m., Sahota’s wife called 911 to report that a stranger was at their door acting suspicious; he told them he crashed his car, she said, and they could hear sirens in the area, according to the video compilation. Sahota’s wife told the 911 dispatcher that her husband is a police officer and armed.

A dispatcher told Sahota’s wife that she and her husband should close the door and stay inside because officers were searching for a man in the area. The dispatcher tried to get a description from her, and Sahota is then heard relaying a description in the background of the call.


Segura told investigators that Sahota said he could not help him and shut the door on him. The drone video shows Segura walking away from the house. When paired with 911 audio, Sahota is then heard calling to Segura to come back. Sahota’s wife told the 911 dispatcher that they were trying to keep Segura there, according to the audio.

By 8:57 p.m., Sahota exited the house with a handgun and ordered Segura to the ground. Sahota’s wife told the dispatcher she was trying to find handcuffs to assist her husband. Moments later, the two men started struggling, according to the investigative records.

Struggle ensues

The confrontation lasted one minute and 45 seconds.

In the aerial footage, the two men are seen fighting. Sahota’s wife tells the dispatcher Segura is hitting Sahota. An object, officers believe to be a gun, is seen falling to the ground. Then a man, later found to be Segura, runs to the house and forces his way inside. The force of the door opening strikes Sahota’s wife in the forehead, causing a large bruise, according to the investigation.

Sahota turned to pick up the gun from the ground, as Feller drove up to the house, and ran to the front door. At some point, Sahota’s 9-mm handgun fired and hit the frame of the front door, though responding officers did not recall seeing or hearing anything, the investigative records show.

Moments after Feller shot Sahota, his wife ran out of the garage toward officers, shouting about her husband. When officers gave the wounded man on the porch commands to show his hands, Segura opened the front door and stuck his hands out. He then came out, hands in the air, and laid down on the ground, according to the investigation. Officers took him into custody and provided Sahota medical aid, but he died at the scene.

In an interview from the back of a patrol car, Segura told deputies he had stabbed Sahota, and in a follow-up interview, said Sahota had identified himself as a police officer, according to audio and written summaries of the interviews.


“That’s all I had to do was lay there and wait for you guys to show up, but no, I fought back,” he told a deputy in the patrol vehicle. In the follow-up interview, he said his “primal instinct” took over.

“I really hate that that happened. But it did happen, and I’m not going to lie about it, whine about it. It happened, I did it. I make my own decisions, and I’m going to have to live with the consequences. It’s going to hurt my mom, family and those who want to see me do good,” he later added while in the back of the patrol vehicle.

Segura told investigators he believed he’d killed Sahota, according to the follow-up interview.

During his initial interview Segura repeatedly asked the deputies why they were being so nice to him.

“But I acted so inhuman today,” he said. “I can’t even recognize who I’ve become. I’m not this person.”