Officer Shoots And Kills Off-Duty Officer After Mistaking Him For Armed Suspect


VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON — A tragedy occurred at the home of an off-duty police officer, who was trying to gain control over an armed suspect who was trying to get inside his home. Minutes before, that same suspect held up a gas station and fled in a stolen vehicle before ditching it and making his way to the home. He banged on the door and told a woman inside that he had just been in a car accident.

Her husband, an off-duty officer identified as 52-year-old Donald Sahota, had gone into the driveway in an attempt to detain the suspect. She was on the phone with 911 detailing what was happening, and when responding officers arrived, that’s when tragedy struck.

The suspect fought Sahota. Police said Sahota “lost control of his firearm and suffered several stab wounds during the struggle with the suspect.” The suspect broke free and ran toward Sahota’s house, where Sahota’s wife was still on the phone with emergency dispatch. Investigators say Sahota was able to recover his gun, then ran after the suspect who was trying to enter the home. Police said the suspect still had the “instrument” that he used to stab Sahota, but they did not release any specific details about the weapon.

Seconds after additional officers arrived on scene, one Clark County deputy sheriff fired several rounds from a rifle and hit Sahota, according to the Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team. The crimes team said Sahota collapsed on his front porch before the responding officers were able to determine he was the homeowner and not the robbery suspect.

Sahota was pronounced dead at the scene. The suspect was taken into custody after surrendering.

Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle issued the following statement Sunday in response to Sahota’s death: 

Early Sunday morning we lost a member of our police community. I am heartbroken by the loss of Officer Donald Sahota. My thoughts are with his family, friends, and all those he served with.  

Officer Sahota joined the Vancouver Police Department in 2014. I am grateful for his commitment and service to the department, his fellow officers, and the community.  

The sudden death of Officer Sahota is devastating, and we don’t have all the details of what occurred. This will be investigated by the Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team. It will likely be days before we know more. 

I hope the community will join me as we hold Officer Sahota’s family and our law enforcement community in our thoughts and hearts. To honor Officer Sahota, all flags at City of Vancouver facilities will be lowered to half-staff. 

I appreciate the support we are receiving, however there is no further information available at this time.

About the Author

Brandon is the founder of Concealed Nation and is an avid firearm enthusiast, with a particular interest in responsible concealed carry. His EDC is a Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP, with a Shield Sights RMSC Red Dot, that holds Hornady 165 gr FTX Critical Defense rounds, and rides comfortably in a Vedder Holsters ComfortTuck IWB holster.

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