UPDATE: The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Deputy that lost his life Tuesday night has been identified as 42-year-old Ryan Thompson, a veteran of more than 14 years in law enforcement. Sheriff Gene Dana says this is unusual for their area since they normally have such a low crime rate.
“This is a tragedy. Officer involved shootings happen too often across our country, but almost never here. The last fatal officer involved shooting in our county happened 92 years ago. The last officer to die in the line of duty from this sheriff’s office was over 60 years ago.”
Thompson was responding along with Kittitas Police officer, 22-year-old Benito Chavez, to a call of road rage.
Ellensburg Police will be conducting the investigation. Chief Ken Wade says the two started following the suspect’s vehicle.
“It turned into a pursuit which shortly ended out in the city of Kittitas. At 7:45 p.m., the officers advised that the pursuit had terminated and less than three minutes later dispatch was advised of shots being fired.”
Officer Chavez is recovering in Harborview Medical Center. The suspect also died in the shootout and Chief Wade says there are no other suspects.
Thompson began as a reserve deputy with Kittitas County in 2004. He served as a corrections deputy and Central Washington University police officer before being hired full-time with Kittitas County in 2013. Deputy Thompson is survived by his wife and three children.
The suspect’s identity has not been released.
One Kittitas County Sheriffs deputy is dead, a City of Kittitas officer was wounded, and a suspect has also died in what investigators say started out as a traffic stop.
The driver of the car refused to stop for a deputy at around 8 P-M… leading to a chase through Kittitas before the vehicle stopped… the driver got out… and exchanged gunfire with deputies and Kittitas Police.
The deputy died at the Kittitas Valley Hospital… the suspect died a short time later. The officer was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
The Ellensberg PD is leading the investigation.