Body cam video shows moments leading up to deputies' deadly shooting of Jonathan Gale

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The Clark County Sheriff's Office on Thursday released body cam video from three deputies who fired their weapons while responding to an apparent domestic violence incident near Brush Prairie last week, killing a man.

According to the sheriff's office, deputies started responding just after midnight Feb. 20 when a woman called 911 and reported that she'd received a call from her mother on a male family member's phone. The daughter said that her mother was acting strange and "didn't sound like herself."

The daughter also said her mother was "being held hostage" and there were "guns everywhere," according to investigators.

Deputies arrived at a secluded property in Brush Prairie off Northeast 152nd Avenue north of Northeast 119th Street and found the male family member and the caller's mother — referred to by the sheriff's office as the suspect and the victim — standing outside of the RV where he lived.

The Clark County Medical Examiner's Office identified the suspect last week as 53-year-old Jonathan Gale of Brush Prairie.

While other deputies talked to Gale, one spoke with the woman. She told a deputy Gale had been acting strangely lately, the sheriff's office said, and that he'd sexually assaulted her. She also said he was armed, and that she wanted to go home.

Video from the deputies speaking with Gale show them asking him if he has any guns. Up until that moment, the exchange had been casual, even cordial. But as one of the deputies moves forward to pat the suspect down, Gale suddenly backs up and holds up a hand.

"No, don't f------ touch me," he said. "I've got COVID-19, so don't ... "

Almost simultaneously, the deputy who'd been speaking with the victim walks over to the other deputies, telling them, "He needs to be detained," the video shows.

At that moment, the video captures Gale immediately stepping backward and reaching toward his waist with his right hand. While the video is pixelated, a slowed-down version does appear to show the suspect pulling a gun from beneath his jacket.

A screenshot from body camera video released by the Clark County Sheriff's Office
The deputies begin shouting commands and draw their own guns as the suspect continues to grasp at his waist. Within the space of a few seconds, deputies open fire.

The suspect falls face-down on the ground following a flurry of gunshots. He can be heard groaning, but otherwise goes still after a few seconds.

After some deliberation, the deputies approach to handcuff Gale and then turn him over to begin first aid. They can be heard referencing two guns — one that was on the ground and another that they found tucked into the man's clothing.

Once an ambulance arrived at the scene, medics pronounced Gale dead. The sheriff's office said the victim was brought to the hospital for an evaluation.

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