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Hero Down: Clark County Sheriff’s Office Det. Jeremy Brown Murdered While Surveilling Suspects

Vancouver, WA – Clark County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Detective Jeremy Brown was murdered in the line of duty while conducting surveillance on Friday night.

The 46-year-old detective and multiple other law enforcement officers were in the midst of the stakeout at The Pointe Apartments located in the 3500-block of Northeast 109th Avenue when the attack occurred, The Columbian reported.

According to court documents, the targets of the operation were 26-year-old Guillermo “Fish” Raya Leon, his brother, Abran “Junior” Raya Leon, and Abran’s girlfriend, Misty Raya.

Clark County had issued a warrant for Raya two days earlier in connection with a burglary at a Vancouver storage facility, The Columbian reported.

Ammunition and multiple firearms were taken during the heist, to include at least one AK-47.

Guillermo Raya Leon has three open cases in Marion County, Oregon, for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and delivery of methamphetamine, while Abran Raya Leon is the subject of an open case in Clackamas County, Oregon, for unauthorized use of a vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle, reckless driving, and attempting to elude.

The exact reason for the surveillance being conducted on Friday night was not released, The Columbian reported.

According to court documents, the three individuals were seen pulling into the apartment complex’s parking lot in a silver Toyota SUV being driven by another individual just before 7 p.m.

Det. Brown was also in the parking lot, sitting in an unmarked Jeep SUV.

Gunfire rang out just before the suspect vehicle sped out of the parking lot, according to police.

The detective’s fellow officers immediately tried to reach him on the radio as they chased the fleeing SUV, but Det. Brown didn’t respond.

Bystanders rushed to the detective’s aid and saw he had been shot in the chest, The Columbian reported.

They immediately called 911.

Det. Brown was transported to PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Medical Center, where he succumbed to his wounds, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.

The fleeing suspects crashed near Padden parkway and Interstate 205 took off on foot, leading to a multi-agency manhunt, The Columbian reported.

Raya and Abran Raya Leon were eventually apprehended in the back yard of an unoccupied residence and arrested on their outstanding, unrelated felony warrants at approximately 9:15 p.m., according to police.

Investigators said Lani Kraabell, the initial driver of the suspect vehicle, told police she picked up the trio after Raya called her for a ride, The Columbian reported.

“Lani said that Fish was paranoid and mentioned multiple times that the police were following them,” police said, according to court documents.

Raya also allegedly told her friend that the three of them were wanted for burglary and that they had eluded police in a vehicle earlier the same day.

“Both Misty and Abran stated that Guillermo repeatedly and emphatically expressed a heightened concern that ‘they were being followed,’” investigators said in the arrest affidavit.

He pointed out Det. Brown’s unmarked vehicle at the apartment complex, but his friends thought he was just being paranoid, The Columbian reported.

“They said Guillermo was ‘trippin’ that it was law enforcement watching them,” the affidavit read.

According to investigators, Guillermo Raya Leon exited the apartment and headed out to the unmarked police vehicle to see what the driver was doing.

Raya said she saw him talking with the driver just before gunfire erupted, The Columbian reported.

The brothers stopped long enough to let her jump into their vehicle, then they all sped off, she allegedly told police.

Investigators said Raya and Abran Raya Leon told them they saw Guillermo Raya Leon carrying a large silver revolver and that he still had it with him when they fled the scene, The Columbian reported.

A stolen silver revolver was recovered in the yard where Raya and Abran Raya Leon were arrested Friday night, according to police.

Guillermo Raya Leon initially escaped but was tracked down and arrested in Salem, Oregon by the U.S. Marshals Service Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force on Sunday afternoon, The Columbian reported.

Police did not release details regarding the circumstances of his arrest.

He has been charged with possession of a stolen firearm and first-degree aggravated murder while armed with a firearm, The Columbian reported.

Det. Brown served the CCSO for 15 years, KOIN reported.

He worked as a corrections officer and as a patrol deputy prior to being promoted to the rank of detective, and also spent time serving on the Clark-Vancouver Drug Task Force, according to his department.

Det. Brown was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and previously served the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office in Montana and the Washington State Department of Corrections, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Clark County Sheriff’s Office Detective Jeremy Brown, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Detective Jeremy Brown, your life mattered.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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