A man is accused of shooting at a Vancouver police patrol vehicle as the officer investigated a complaint regarding gunshots at an apartment complex, court records say.
Joseph Andrew Ezetta, 48, of Vancouver appeared Monday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree assault and first-degree malicious mischief stemming from the early Sunday morning incident at the One Lake Place Apartments.
Vancouver police were called about 4 a.m. to 5264 N.E. 121st Ave., after multiple callers reported hearing gunshots in the apartment complex. The first officer to arrive drove his patrol vehicle along the south side of the complex and was about to turn toward the exit when he heard a number of gunshots nearby. The officer drove out of the complex to a safer location, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
While officers convened nearby, they saw a suspicious man leave the complex and begin walking toward them. They called out to the man, later identified as Ezetta, and ordered him to stop, but he ignored them. Officers then physically stopped Ezetta and found a 9 mm handgun on him, which was warm to the touch as if it had been recently fired, the affidavit says.
After detaining Ezetta, another officer heard someone screaming. Believing it may have come from Ezetta’s apartment, they went inside and found numerous firearms, gun cases and ammunition out in the open. Officers also located a number of 9 mm shell casings on the walkways and stairwells leading to his apartment, as well as bullet strikes and fragments on a tree, metal post and the concrete near the entrance of the complex — where the officer was driving, according to court documents.
They then discovered that the officer’s patrol vehicle had been struck on the right rear bumper and passed through the vehicle, court records say.
Police learned Ezetta was arrested for driving under the influence by Washington State Patrol earlier that night and was released after being processed, the affidavit states.
During his court appearance, the prosecution said Ezetta has two prior DUI convictions. Judge John Fairgrieve granted the state’s bail request of $1 million. Ezetta will be arraigned June 21.