Man killed in deputy involved shooting near Clovis

The suspect's fianc? says Robert Vancamp had been drinking Wednesday night and needed some type of intervention.
April 10, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
Fresno County Sheriff deputies are trying to figure out what happened in the hours leading up to a deadly confrontation between two deputies and 22-year-old Robert Vancamp.

Family members say he was struggling with many personal problems. The suspect's fianc? says Robert Vancamp had been drinking Wednesday night and needed some type of intervention. But when deputies say he turned toward them with a gun, talking wasn't an option.

Vancamp's Fianc? Emily Orndoff said, "He had so many people that loved him and he was so full of life."

Family members describe Robert Vancamp as a great guy who was a devoted father to his baby boy, Gunner.

Orndoff added, "He was such a good friend and such a good son and we were going to get married in August and we just had a baby in January."

But, the fun loving young man, is not the one who deputies say they confronted early Thursday morning.

Chris Curtice with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office said, "He was armed with a handgun and he did turn towards the deputy with the handgun. There are unconfirmed reports that he may have fired one shot. But we won't know that for a while."

Bill Stonehouse lives caddy corner to the home where Vancamp lived with his parents and fianc?. He realized there was a domestic problem at the house around 2 a.m.

"We heard a young lady kind of yelling back and forth and a couple of doors slamming and things like that and I just sat on my patio to observe to see if I thought it was a threat," said Stonehouse. "Which I didn't think it was at the time."

Things got worse and the suspect's mom called 9-1-1 just before 2:30 a.m. According to a sheriff's spokesperson, two deputies parked and walked up to the house. The suspect was confronted outside. Deputies were told he was suicidal and had a weapon.

Curtice added, "The suspect was still armed he turned towards deputies with a handgun, deputies fired several rounds striking him more than once."

Based on a Facebook picture posted by Vancamp's mother Wednesday night just before 8:00 p.m., all seemed to be fine at the home. The photo was what would be the last one of the suspect and his baby. Robert posted a reply just before 9:00 p.m. saying, "I love my Lil man more than anything in the world."

Some of Vancamp's family members are upset and claim deputies did not announce their presence when they arrived. But sheriff's officials said the deputies did exactly what they are trained to do.

"The deputies seemed to do everything tactically very well," said Curtice. "Like I said they parked south of the residence and walked up because of the information that they had that this subject was armed and they didn't want to be ambushed as they walked up."


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