A Washington state white supremacist who was arrested for shooting a Vancouver police officer seven times may have been paying back a debt to the Aryan Brotherhood.
According to KPTV, James Sapp leaned out the window of his black pickup and began shooting when motorcycle officer Dustin Goudschaal stopped him on Monday.
Sapp fled, but crashed his truck just a few blocks from where he had been stopped. Timothy Plantenberg, who was a passenger in the truck, later told police that he had grabbed the steering wheel to force the truck to crash.
After crashing the truck, Sapp assaulted an 88-year-old man, and stole his truck, police said. Two men who tried to stop Sapp were also assaulted. One of the men was punched in the face.
Police appended Sapp when he crashed the second truck.
Officer Dustin Goudschaal was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center where he was reportedly in stable condition.
KOIN reported that Sapp told police in 2005 that “he is an active member of the Aryan Brotherhood," and “kept in touch with his brothers behind bars.”
In 2008, he told a Clark County Jail deputy that he would not share a cell with a person of color because “he is a member of the Aryan Brotherhood.”
Police on Tuesday said that Sapp had a large swastika tattoo, and the words "White Pride" on his lower back. He faces charges of attempted murder, robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Portland State University Professor Randy Blazak explained to KOIN that Monday's shooting could have been Sapp paying a debt after the Aryan Brotherhood provided him protection while he was in prison.
“There’s this thing called ‘doing the dirt’ while you’re in prison," Blazak said. "You’re protected by the brotherhood, but for that, you have to pay a price. It’s called ‘credit.’ Sometimes that price is paid inside, but sometimes it’s paid outside. You have to kill somebody."
And if Sapp returns to prison, the shooting could boost his status within the Aryan Brotherhood.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) told KOIN that it had no record of Sapp.
Watch the video below from KOIN, broadcast July 1, 2014.