Cowlitz Co. Sheriff's Office
Emergency Messages as of 10:58 am, Wed. Dec. 13
No information currently posted. Operating as usual.
Subscribe to receive FlashAlert messages from Cowlitz Co. Sheriff's Office. Please use any browser other than Internet Explorer.
Primary email address for a new account:

Emergency Alerts News Releases  

Manage my existing Subscription

News Releases
Cowlitz Sheriff Detectives arrest 13 year old for manslaughter 1st re: shooting that occurred on October 14th - 11/20/17

Kelso, Washington: Cowlitz County Sheriff Detectives have arrested 13 year Dawson A. Dunn for Manslaughter 1st degree. This arrest is a result of the investigation of the shooting that was first reported on October 14th. It occurred in the 1500 block of Carrol road, which is a few miles east of Kelso.

The victim, Edgar Vazquez was also 13 and lived in Kelso as well. Edgar had been spent a few nights with Dawson, they were friends.

The case unfolded when Dawson called 911 and reported that he had shot his friend while playing with a firearm. Deputies and medical aid responded and found the victim with a single shotgun wound to his upper body. They were unable to save the victim; he died at the scene.

Deputies had learned from Dawson that he had fired the shotgun before that day. He told the deputies that day that he checked the gun and racked the action and saw a round eject from the shotgun. He racked the action a second time and based on what he saw he believed it was empty when he pointed it at Edgar and pulled the trigger. He was surprised when the shotgun fired and pellets struck Edgar. Dawson said that he did not intend to shoot Edgar, he said it was an accident. (It is not clear why he pointed the firearm at Edgar.) Dawson has declined to be interviewed under advice of legal counsel.

Dawson was booked at the Cowlitz County Juvenile Detention facility and will appear in court sometime tomorrow. Media will have to call the Juvenile Detention facility to ask for the time of the hearing. He is being held on no bail at this time.

The decision to formally charge Dawson rest with the Prosecuting Attorney.

We are not releasing any photos. We are not describing the nature of the victims injuries in further details.

Request for the recording of the 911 call are being referred to the Cowlitz 911 dispatch center. Our case number is A17-3170.

Cowlitz Sheriff Deputies + SWAT catch burglar in house who was stealing firearms from a Castle Rock Residence. - 11/15/17

Castle Rock, Wa -(11-14-17) Shortly after 8:00 a.m. a Castle Rock resident was alerted on his smart phone by his alarm system that an intruder was at his back door. The resident check the video surveillance system and saw a man trying to break in to his house. He took a screen shot of the suspect and called 911. He was able to text the photo of the suspect to deputies who were on scene.

Cowlitz Deputies and Castle Rock Police arrived on scene in about 7 minutes. They surrounded the house and saw that a window had been forced open and they heard movement inside the house.

The home owner, Austin Kohler who lives in the 200 block of Buland Drive, was able to view the camera system on his smart phone in real time and noticed that several firearms that were in the house had been moved. The deputies called for a K9 and the Lower Columbia SWAT to respond.

The SWAT members gave commands by voice and by PA system demanding the suspect to give up. There was no reply by the suspect. A robot was sent in to the house to aid in searching the residence.

The SWAT team entered the house and found the suspect hiding in a closet in a spare bedroom right at 11: 00 a.m. The suspect, ROBERT J DEPRIEST, 31 years of age had picked up a rifle and a loaded .357 revolver, several knives and 2 cell phones and took them with him as he hid in the closet. The rifle was found in the bedroom, near where he was hiding; the pistol was found in the closet and the knives and cell phones were in his pockets.

DePriest told deputies he was just looking for food.

DePriest, who also lives in Castle Rock, was book for Burglary 1st degree as well as on an outstanding DWLS warrant out of Castle Rock. DePriest was not known to the home owner.

(Answers to commonly asked questions by the media): We are not releasing any photos of the case. We are also not going to contact the victim and ask him if he is willing to contact the various media sources. We do not know DePriests criminal history.