Hero Down - Kittitas County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Thompson Murdered
Kittitas County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Thompson was killed in the line of duty on Tuesday night.
Kittitas, WA – Kittitas County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) Deputy Ryan Thompson was murdered in the line of duty during a gunfight with a “road rage” suspect on Tuesday night.
The incident began at approximately 7:37 p.m., when Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) received a report of an erratic driver in the Badger Pocket area, the agency said in a press release.
Deputy Thompson, 42, spotted the suspect vehicle at approximately 7:42 p.m., and attempted to pull the driver over.
The driver refused to stop, and led Deputy Thompson on a pursuit into the City of Kittitas.
Police Officer Benito Chavez, 22, then also joined the chase as the driver exited the interstate.
The driver ultimately stopped his vehicle “on his own” on Pierce Street, then opened fire on the pursuing officers, according to the chief.
Investigators do not believe that the officers were aware the suspect was armed until he actually opened fire on them, he added.
Deputy Thompson and Officer Chavez returned fire, mortally wounding the suspect.
They were both struck by gunfire during the shootout.
Deputy Thompson was rushed to Kittitas Valley Hospital, where he was sadly pronounced dead.
Officer Chavez was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he was listed in satisfactory condition on Wednesday morning.
He suffered a gunshot wound to his leg, shattering his femur, and was being taken into surgery at the time of Wednesday’s press conference, Kittitas Police Chief Chris Taylor said.
The unnamed suspect was transported to Kittitas Valley hospital, where he later died. Police are not releasing the identity of suspect until he is positively identified by medical examiner, Chief Wade said.
Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana said that Deputy Thompson’s murder is the “worst incident in my 45-plus years in law enforcement.”
“Last night, we lost one of our finest,” Sheriff Dana said.
“Right now, we need all the support we can get,” Sheriff Dana told reporters. “It’s very, very tragic.”
He said that Deputy Thompson had a “great personality,” and that he was “well-liked” by his fellow officers.
He was also “highly motivated, and had a great future in law enforcement,” the sheriff added.
“He’s impacted the entire sheriff’s office greatly,” Sheriff Dana said.
CONDOLENCES to Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office and family of Deputy Ryan Thompson who was shot in killed yesterday, following a vehicle pursuit. pic.twitter.com/aqmQPlJj80— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) March 20, 2019
Deputy Thompson leaves behind his wife and their three children. A GoFundMe Fundraiser campaign has since been setup for the Thompson family.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Kittitas County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Thompson, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Deputy Ryan Thompson, your life mattered.
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