Suspect in Vancouver double murder arrested in Portland

Person of interest named in Vanc.

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- A suspect in a March 19 double homicide in Vancouver was arrested Thursday in Portland.

Arkangel D. Howard, 31, was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, assisted by Portland's Special Emergency Reaction Team and Crisis Negotiation Team.

Howard was interviewed by Vancouver Police detectives and booked into the Multnomah County Jail. He was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and will be extradited to Clark County, where he will face charges.

On Sunday, March 19, two men were found dead outside a Vancouver apartment building in the 1500 block of Northeast 140th Avenue. The Clark County Medical Examiner's Office said both men died of multiple gunshot wounds.

The two victims were 37-year-old Allen J. Collins and 42-year-old Jason D. Benton. Both were from the Portland area. The medical examiner's office said Collins was shot in the head and neck and Benton was shot multiple times.

Police said Collins and Benton knew Howard.

Neighbor hears shooting

Neighbor Ben Woodkey spoke with KGW on the day of the murders. He said he heard the gunshots and saw the two victims on the ground. 

"It wasn't 'bang, bang, bang, bang.' It was 'bang, bang' and then a second, then another couple more after that," said Woodkey.

He said he immediately ran out his back door to see what was going on.

"From right here you could see the guy laying on the ground through the fence," Woodkey said.

He said he also saw a silver car speed away with someone in the driver seat and someone in the passenger seat.

Woodkey said he ran back through the house, told his wife to grab their 3-year-old daughter and call 911. He said he bolted out of the front of his home and around the corner to see two men shot dead near the apartments behind his home.

"There was one laying next to the driver side of a red pickup and one on the other side, laying next to a smaller dark car. There was definitely a vehicle between them," he said.

He said one man looked like he was shot in the head and another in the torso. Woodkey didn't see a gun.

"I just saw the shells, that was it," Woodkey said.

The first man he checked was dead. When he went to check on the second man, what he saw was even more traumatic.

"He just kind of took a long breath and he started choking, and I couldn't watch that. I just had to walk away," said Woodkey.

He said he didn't know what to do.

"I've never in my life seen a dead person or watch somebody die right in front of me. It was pretty traumatic."

Woodkey said his neighborhood is a quiet one, with lots of families and kids running around.

"Never heard anything from anyone back there," he said. "The only time we heard from anyone back there was for a garage sale. It's a quiet neighborhood. Nothing really goes on around here."

KGW


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