Prosecutor: Homeowner shot suspected prowler 4 times in chest after fight

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Vancouver, Wash., police say homeowner Sean Doucette fought with man in street before shooting him. (Photo: KPTV/Portland)

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Court documents have shed new light on what happened outside a Vancouver home where a 19-year-old man who was initially described as a suspected car prowler was shot and killed.

Sean Doucette, 27, appeared in court Wednesday on a charge of second-degree murder for the shooting in the 14800 block of Northeast 33rd Street, where Doucette lives.

A defense attorney said Doucette had just come home from work around 4 a.m. Tuesday when he heard a car alarm go off across the street. Doucette told his wife to call 911 while he went to try to contain the suspected prowler, the attorney said.

A fight ensued between Doucette and 19-year-old Iosif Dumitrash, according to Doucette’s wife.

Detectives cited information from an independent witness, who told them Doucette and Dumitrash fought and then fell on the ground. When they fell, both men separated from each other, and Dumitrash “began to walk away,” authorities said.

That’s when Doucette fired the fatal shots, the court documents said.

At 3:53 a.m., Doucette’s wife called 911 to tell dispatchers her husband had shot someone.

Officers responded and found numerous empty shell casings in the street, close to where Dumitrash’s body was found.

According to The Oregonian, Clark County deputy prosecutor Camara Banfield said in court Wednesday that Dumitrash was “attempting to leave when he was shot four times in the chest.”

She had requested $500,000 bail. The judge set bail at $250,000..

A spokesman for First Response Inc. said Tuesday night that Doucette has been an employee with the security services company for four years and worked as an armed guard for one year. The company said he owns his own weapon and was off-duty at the time of the incident.

The spokesman said Doucette is licensed by the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training as an armed security guard and has been a “great employee and we’re sorry this happened for all involved.”

Police records show Doucette does not have any prior arrests in either Oregon or Washington. The suspect’s MySpace page says he is married, a father and served as a combat engineer in the Marine Corps.

— FOX12 Oregon (KPTV/Portland)

To read the entire KPTV story or see its video, click here.

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  • James

    Obviously we don't know all the facts here, but I would dare to say that it's pretty close to impossible to be shot in the chest while walking away. Also I would like to think that law abiding citizens have the right to defend themselves and their / or anyone elses property against criminals. If this was a police officer and not an armed citizen I bet there wouldn't even be charges brought.

    Moral of the story, don't break into cars at 4am and avoid getting shot to death. If Mr. Doucette is convicted and sees jail time, which unfortunately he most likely will, he will be yet another one of the many people behind bars for standing up for what's right.

    • jerry

      I agree with You !! I seen that to ?? If he was walking away trying to leave , How the —- do you get shot in the chest ?? I always hear there are not enough police to be everywhere at the time of need but we as people are treated like criminals if we defend our selfs . I have to say , If it was a officer shooting , they would put him on paid leave tell it was showed to be a justified shooting . I would also like to say , I also agree with you … If the dum punks ( thiefs ) would know that if they commite crimes, they might just be shot instead of jail time , a lot more of them would think twice before doing it !! Back in the day , someone tried stilling from you or harm you , You had the right to shoot them & if they died , oh well they should not have done it . My dad was murdered & after two trials , all the guy got was life without parole. He even said at the trial, why he didnt get my dad help , he said ( Because I always finish my fights ) what has happened to the true justice for the people ???

    • Guest

      No sympathy here for the sleeze bag thief. He got what he deserved. Folks- we cannot depend on the police – they only arrive after the fact. Period. It is not that they are avoiding the conflict – it is a matter of physics. Call comes in and then they are dispatched to the scene. That could take several minutes or more. More than enough time for all hell to break loose.

      We need to make the laws more for the victims instead of the criminals. We need to stop re-victimizing the innocent people. This dmub A** punk was a criminal- he had noo respect for anyone or anything. He made his choice and fortunatley we are not reading about a home owner being shot.

      Again- he got what he deserved. No sympathy here.

  • Dick Taser

    It appears Mr. Sean Doucette over stepped his rights and broke the law by killing an unarmed citizen. Was the victim breaking into the Doucette house? No, he was outside in the street. Was the car alarm coming from Doucette's car? Who knows? Doucette isn't a police officer, what he did is wrong and he's made big mistake.

      • Charles Whitman

        Your are wrong. Informed by other news outlets in that part of Washington and not just from this skimpy TV story. Sure, Doucette got mad because he suspected something and got pushed around. It's not a justified shooting unless the suspect is breaking into Doucette's home.

  • jeremy

    Set this man free. A decision to prowl around other people's private property is a decision to risk being killed for it. If you don't wish to be shot, then stay home and leave other people's homes and property alone. I'd appreciate having this man for a neighbor.

    • Block Watcher

      Doucette had no right to shoot an unarmed person outside on the street. He's going to jail for a long time. It's murder.

      • Guest

        Wow. He was committing a crime. He attacked the guy when he who tryed to stop a crime in progess. Doucette saw his neigbors property being stolen so he went over to stop it. So tell me "Block Watcher" iin your view he should have just let the thief go about his business. So much for you being a 'block watcher'. So what if he wasn't armed- how was Doucette to know? Again – this punk was violent as they got into a big fight. So he is not some nice person. What if he was raping your famliy member? But had no weapon? In your view I should just shrug and walk away.

        Thank God you are not my neighbor. I could depend on you to help the criminal.

  • Matt T

    He should have shot him in each leg. Let the bastard suffer for being an idiot. If it was a brawl then it sounds like self defense to me. I thought if someone felt their life was in danger that they can use any means necessary to protect themselves. Four to the CHEST when he was "running away"?? Was he running backwards. The only justice in this story is that there is one less douchebag trying to break into peoples cars to steal from them.