Cowlitz Co. Sheriff's Office
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Cowlitz Sheriff Deputies arrest man who threatened to shoot 4 people - captured in Cowlitz River - 08/28/16

Kelso, Wa. Cowlitz Deputies were dispatched yesterday, Saturday night at about 5:30 p.m. to the report of a shots fired call at 28 Alpha Drive, Kelso. Deputy Geary Enbody spotted the shooter as he arrived on scene and he and Deputy Brent Harris chased the man until he jumped in to the Cowlitz river. Deputies ordered the man to swim to shore but he refused.

The shooter, Levi S. Godwin, 40 years of age, was captured when a Kelso and Longview Police Officer got a ride from a private boater in the area and went out and took the man in to custody.

Godwin owned the house at 28 Alpha drive and was there when he and his girlfriend, Shylee Bartlett got in to an argument. There were 4 other people in the house. During the argument Godwin ended up pointing a 22 pistol at the other 4 people and told them if the did not leave he would shoot them. As they left, Godwin shot into the driveway, in an attempt to scare them away; no one was injured.

Godwin states that he dumped the pistol in the river. It has not been recovered. The Sheriff's Office is hoping to use divers to search for the pistol later today or tomorrow.

Godwin was booked for Assault 1st degree, Felon in Possession of a firearm, and obstructing.

He was book in to the Cowlitz County jail with no bail.

Wooden Staff
Wooden Staff
Cowlitz County Sheriff Investigating Fatal Police Shooting**Update** 8-19-16 with video link (Photo) - 08/19/16

Video would not upload. Will send a link as soon as possible.

Update: August 19, 2016

Press Release -- Kelso 8-17-16 Shooting
Kelso, WA -- The violent attack of a convenience store clerk, customer and Kelso police officer on Wednesday resulted in the shooting death of a 27 year old Spokane man. The man has been identified by Cowlitz County Coroner Tim Davidson as Omer I. Ali.
Ali had been reported or contacted by law enforcement several times in the past few days beginning on August 13.
August 13th, 2016 --Ali was reported to Skamania County Sheriff as unwanted and possibly intoxicated at Swift campground but left prior to deputy arrival. A short time later he was contacted by a Cowlitz County sheriff's deputy in Cougar and was arrested for Driving While License Suspended. The rental car he was driving was impounded and was later discovered to have been stolen from Whatcom County.
August 15th, 2016 --Ali was released from the Cowlitz County jail and reportedly trespassed at an address in the 1600 block of 8th Ave.
August 17th, 2016 -- At about 12:30 a.m. Ali spoke over the outside jail intercom and then in person to the duty sergeant then left north towards Allen St.
At about 1:10 a.m. Ali arrived at the Flying K but left after being trespassed by employees and Kelso Police. Ali was armed with a flat board which was seized by KPD.
At just after 2 a.m. Ali was contacted again outside the jail by jail personnel and Longview Police.
At about 5 a.m. Kelso Police contacted Ali at a residence in the 300 block of North 4th Ave, Kelso complaining of him being in the yard and looking in windows
At 8:01 a.m. Ali arrived at the Flying K and attempted to shoplift but is told to leave by the clerks. Ali makes threats to the clerks he then walked west. Kelso Police are called and Officer Johnston arrives short after.
At 8:15 a.m. While Officer Johnston is in the store office viewing video Ali returns with a weapon and begins to assault the clerk, customer and then Officer Johnston before being stopped by gunfire.
Ali's jacket with identification was located by a citizen about a block away and turned into detectives later in the morning.
There is other contact and arrest history in Whatcom County.
Here is what we know about Ali:
He immigrated to the USA as a refugee from Sudan on 9-14-2013, living in Spokane. There were two misdemeanor warrants for Ali out of Spokane and Blaine, WA but neither are extraditable.

For Immediate Release
August 19, 2016
Coroner's Office Confirms the Identity and Determines the Cause of Death in Kelso Shooting
CCCO Case #16-435
Longview, WA. The Cowlitz County Coroner's Office has positively identified the body recovered from the 103 West Main Street in Kelso, Washington on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 as Omer Ismail Ali.
Information gathered from the scene investigation and autopsy indicates that Mr. Ali's death occurred approximately at or about 0815 hours consistent with 911 call traffic. Mr. Ali is a 27-year-old (01/01/1989) transient with ties to Spokane, Washington.
An autopsy performed on Friday, August 19, 2016 concluded that Mr. Ali's Cause of Death is the result of Gunshot Wound of the Chest with other significant conditions: a Gunshot Wound of the Jaw and Neck, with the Manner of Death as *Homicide resulting from a violent altercation with law enforcement. *Homicide is defined by RCW 9A.30.010- Homicide is the killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or omission of another. The ruling of Homicide by the Coroner in no way implies criminal behavior on the part of the officer involved in the shooting. It is simply a finding that Ali died at the hands of another.
No further description of the investigative findings will be made at this time. Standard toxicology specimens have been released to the Washington State Patrol Toxicology Laboratory for analysis results will not be available for 6 to 8 weeks.
The Cowlitz County Coroner's Office is also asking for assistance from the public in helping identify and locate possible family members for Mr. Ali.

Any questions pertaining to the cause and manner of death can be directed to the Cowlitz County Coroner Dr. Timothy Davidson at 360-577-3079. The conclusion of the Coroner's independent investigation into the cause and manner of death does not conclude the investigation of the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office, questions regarding their investigation should be directed to Sheriff Mark Nelson at 360-577-3092.


Update: August 18, 2016 11:00am

The investigation of the shooting at the Kelso Flying K is continuing. The process of evaluating the evidence recovered from the scene will begin today. Additional interviews of witnesses and law enforcement personnel will also be conducted.

Investigators are now reviewing in-store video of the event. The Sheriff's Office hopes to release the video and police radio communication in the near future perhaps as early as Friday afternoon.

A photograph of the wooden staff used by the deceased in the assault on the store clerk, customer and the Kelso Officer is attached to this press release. The staff is about four feet long, is one and one half inches in diameter and weighs over two pounds. The staff was broken during the attack.

Efforts continue in trying to positively identify the deceased and next of kin. The Cowlitz County Coroner will be conducting an autopsy in the near future.

The next update will be when the video and police audio is available for release.

Attached Media Files: Radio Traffic , Wooden Staff
Cowlitz County Sheriff Investigating Fatal Police Shooting**Update** 10:00 pm - 08/17/16

*** update 10:00pm August 17, 2016

The Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office assisted by the Longview Police Department and Washington State Patrol has completed its initial investigation of the officer involved shooting at the Flying K in Kelso, WA. The store has been returned to the owner at about 10:00pm.

The deceased was removed from the scene by the Cowlitz County Coroner's Office. The Coroner's Office will release more information about the deceased once he has been positively identified and next of kin notified.

There is still much work to be done in this investigation. An update press release is planned for Thursday at 11:00am.

Cowlitz County Sheriff Investigating Fatal Police Shooting**Update** 3:30 pm - 08/17/16


Sheriff's detectives, Longview Police and State Patrol detectives are in the process of the crime scene search. This is expected to take several hours. Early information indicates that the deceased is from the eastern Washington area but identification will take place in concert with the coroner.

Undersheriff Marc Gilchrist will take over incident lead duties at 4:00 p.m.

Kelso, WA-This morning at approximately 8 a.m. Kelso Police were called to the Flying K Fuel Mart at 1st and West Main St. to a report of a male shoplifter. While they were in route the male left the store and headed across the street towards a residential neighborhood.

A Kelso Police officer arrived and contacted the two female clerks in the store. One clerk remained at the counter while the other went to the office with the officer to attempt to view the video.

While the officer was with the clerk the male returned carrying a pole type object described as similar to a walking stick. When he entered the business he began assaulting the clerk and also a customer.

The officer, 22 year Kelso Police veteran John Johnston, intervened and was also assaulted, suffering head, arm and leg injuries before shooting the suspect. The officer was transported to the hospital by ambulance to be treated for the listed injuries.

The clerk and customer were transported to the hospital where they were also treated and released.

The suspect, a 27 year old black male, is deceased.

Cowlitz County Sheriffs Office is conducting the investigation, assisted by Longview Police and Washington State Patrol.

A follow up live interview with Sheriff Nelson will be held at 2:30 at the parking lot across from the scene.

Body found in Lewis River - 08/05/16

This morning, Friday, August 5th at about 10:45 AM, a passerby reported to deputies that there was a body floating in the Lewis River in the 4300 block of Dike Road in Woodland. Clark County Fire and Rescue assisted Cowlitz County Deputies with their boat to recover a deceased female. The cause and manner of death is unknown at this time. The Cowlitz County Coroner's Office has taken possession of the body and are attempting to notify next of kin. The Coroner's Office will release additional information at the appropriate time.