Cowlitz Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Releases
Update #2: Shooting in custody: Cowlitz Sheriff reports another shooting in Kelso, suspect at large, see pic of suspect. (Photo) - 02/26/15
Update #2: 2-26-15 8pm. Cowlitz Sheriff Deputies talked with several family members and friends of Christopher Yourkwitz to try to convince him to turn himself in and a short time later Yourkwitz called the Sheriff's Office and said he was on his way to turn himself in and that is what he did. After arriving at the Cowlitz Sheriff's office he refused to say what happened during the shooting or answer any questions. He was booked for Assault 3rd degree and Felon Possession of Firearm. The gun used in the shooting has not been located.

Update 2-26-15 1pm - The suspect, Christopher Yourkwitz is still at large and wanted for felony assault and Felon in Possession of a Firearm in last nights shooting of his roommate Christopher "Wyatt" Potter in Kelso.

The original story told to deputies by Potter was that Yourkwitz became angry at Potter because Potter said disparaging remarks to Yourkwitz about Yourkwitz ex-wife, who had been at the house earlier that day. During a heated argument Yourkwitz grabbed a gun and shot Potter in the abdomen. Potter later last night said that he now believed that the shooting was an accident.

Yourkwitz is still at large and should be considered armed and dangerous. Yourkwitz has a conviction for a felony Assault. and Felony Burglary in the past. He is wanted for Felony Assault and Felon in Possession of a Firearm, for last nights shooting.

Anyone with any information about Yourkwitz, or direct knowledge of the shooting should call the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office at 3690-577-3092.

-----------------------original release below ---------------

Cowlitz Sheriff reports that at about 9:15pm today, 2-25-15, Christopher "Wyatt" Potter, 35 yrs, was shot in the abdomen with a 45 caliber pistol by his roommate, Christopher Lee Yourkwitz, 41 yrs. The shooting happened at 201 Veys Ave, Kelso, in a home owned by Potter. Yourkwitz and Potter got in to a dispute (nature unknown) which led to Yourkwitz shooting Potter at close range. Potter ran next door to a neighbors (unknown) and reported being shot and to call 911 which they did. He was taken by ambulance to St. John Hospital in Longview.

Yourkwitz has a history of felony assault in the past and is still at large. He has a very distinctive tattoo across his face, see photo attached. He is 5'8" 175 lbs and brown eyes. Yourkwitz is believed to be armed with a pistol and possibly a semi-auto rifle. He is extremely dangerous.

Potter was being taken to surgery a few hours ago at St. John Hospital. His condition is not known.

The Lower Columbia SWAT team was called to check a shop building next door but Yourkwitz was not there.

Cowlitz Sheriff Detectives are still on scene.

Yourkwitz is wanted for Assault 1st degree and Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 360-577-1206. Local callers can also call 911 if they have strong reason to believe they know where Yourkwitz is at that moment. Other standard tips can be called in to the 911 center on their business line at 360-577-3098.

Callers who have information about the shooting should call Detective Sergeant Brad Thurman at 360-577-3092.

We do not have a vehicle that he is associated with at this time.

While this shooting is very similar to the shooting from yesterday, they are unrelated.

[if the media has follow up questions and I do not answer my phone, please leave me a message with your questions, or, text them to me on my cell - CR]
Attached Media Files: Yourkwitz_Christopher_direct.jpg
Cowlitz Sheriff: UPDATE: Names listed: Man shoots daughters boyfriend in leg for refusing to leave his house. victim OK. Shooter arrested - 02/24/15
UPDATE #1 2-24-15 830p

The victim is a Kevin P Reid, 37 years who had been staying at the 108 Williams Street address with his girlfriend, Heather Castaneda, 34 years. Her father, Darrell D. Chafin, 65 years, is the owner of the home and is the one who shot Reid in the leg after he (Reid) refused to leave. Chafin tried to get Reid to leave because he (Reid) was arguing with his daughter (Castaneda). When Chafin told Reid to leave, Reid shoved Chafin. Chafin again told Reid to leave and when Reid refused, he shot Reid. The .380 bullet when through the upper part of Reids leg. Reid was bandaged at the hospital and after getting an Xray, left the hospital without further treatment because he wanted a smoke. He showed up in front of the house riding a bicycle down the street.

The nature of the argument between Castaneda and Reid is not known at this time. Detectives are still on scene executing a search warrant to collect evidence. They will be leaving soon.

Chafin was booked in to the Cowlitz County Jail for Assault 1st degree, no bail. His first appearance will be in Superior Court tomorrow. Questions about what time he will appear need to be directed to the Cowlitz County Superior Court.

We will not be releasing any photos relating to this investigation.


Cowlitz Sheriff reports that a man called 911 to report that he just shot his daughter's boyfriend in the leg because he refused to leave his house at 108 Williams Street in North Kelso, Wa. The victim was transported to the hospital for treatment for a non-life threatening wound to his leg. The shooter was arrested for Assault 1st degree.

There will be more released as it comes available.
man hit by train and killed near Kalama Washington. - 02/21/15
Kalama, Wa 2-21-15

CASE # : A15-566

DATE (& Time of incident): 2-21-15 1028

TYPE OF INCIDIENT: Fatality Pedestrian versus Amtrak train.

PEOPLE: Victim; Name withheld pending notification of family.

SUMMARY: Location: 300 block of Dupont Road, KA

Victim and RP were traveling south from Tacoma to Portland for day trip. They stopped to smoke and take pics along the river. A northbound BNSF train passed on one set of tracks. The victim walked out between the northbound and southbound set of train tracks to pose for pictures as the train passed by him. Victim and RP didn't realize an Amtrak was coming southbound on the southbound set of track. Victim was struck by the Amtrak as it passed. He died at the scene. RP called 911. She was uninjured. The train continued south after about a 3 hour delay.

All requests for information about the trains are being referred to Amtrak and BNSF railroad. The ID of the victim will come from the Cowlitz County Coroner.

The Sheriff's Office will not be releasing any further information about the victim or RP until the family has been notified.
Updated 2-13 1pm: Autopsy tonight. No ID or Cause yet-Cowlitz Sheriff reporting adult male found deceased on the bank of river, Toutle Washington, - 02/13/15
Update: 2-13 1pm
Detectives returned to the scene this morning and during their search they located additional items (that we are not describing at this time) at the scene and we have confidence they are related to this investigation. There is an autopsy schedule for tonight. The Coroner may release more information after the examination, however, this will be dependent on what is learned during the examination. Our office will not be releasing any more information other to say that we do not believe that the residents in that area should have any concerns for their safety as a result of this death investigation.

-------Original release below --------------------

Toutle, Wa- Feb 12-2015, Cowlitz Sheriff's Office received a call from a fisherman who found an deceased adult male lying along the bank of the South Toutle river. The area is about 3 south of Toutle. Detectives, who responded to the scene are working with the coroners office on the case. The victim has been turned over to the coroner and the case is ongoing.

The ID of the victim has not been determined; neither has the cause or manner of death.

Detectives are not releasing any more details, such as the person estimated age, length he has been deceased, or other physical characteristics.

We will release more information as long as it does not hinder the investigation.
Reserve Deputy Applications Being Accepted - 02/11/15
The Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office is currently accepting applications to join the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Reserve Unit. In order to apply to become a Reserve Deputy Sheriff, you must be at least 21 years old, have a valid driver's license, high school diploma or G.E.D., and pass a basic physical and written test as well as an in-depth background investigation and oral interview process. Applications must be completed and submitted by Oct 1, 2015.

Before an application will be provided an automatic disqualifier questionnaire is required to be completed which asks questions about the applicants driving record, drug use, criminal activity, employment and certain financial obligations.

Applications can be picked up in person at the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office. For additional information, contact Deputy Jordan Spencer at