A Washington state sheriff's deputy was gunned down and another officer was injured Tuesday night in what the sheriff called the "worst incident in my 45-plus years in law enforcement."
Kittitas County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Thompson, 42, a Washington state native, leaves behind a wife and three children, Sheriff Ryan Dana said at a news conference Wednesday.
Kittitas County, about 90 minutes east of Seattle, is a low-crime rate county. The last fatal officer involved shooting was 92 years ago, Dana said.
The Kittitas Police Department is an agency of three, including the chief. The department relies on state patrol, Ellensburg police and the sheriff's office for help, Kittitas Police Chief Chris Taylor said.
Authorities on Tuesday responded to a "road rage event." When the suspect refused to stop, officers pursued the suspect into the small city of Kittitas, officials said.
The suspect then stopped his car, got out and exchanged gunfire with Thompson and Kittitas police officer Benito Chavez, the sheriff's office said.
Thompson was shot and killed.
Chavez, 22, who was sworn in in July, was also shot and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where he underwent surgery, officials said.
Chavez and his wife are expecting their first child, authorities said.
The suspect, whose name was not released, was shot and has died, said Ellensburg Police Chief Ken Wade.
The shooting led to an outpouring of sympathy from law enforcement departments throughout the state and country.
Thirteen law enforcement officers died in gun-related incidents this year -- down from 18 over the same time period last year, according to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund.
Last night, a Kittitas County Sheriff’s Deputy and a Kittitas Police Officer were were shot during an exchange of gunfire with an armed offender in Washington. Sadly, the Deputy has succumbed to his wounds. We pray for our colleagues at the @KCSheriffOffice and their families. pic.twitter.com/eaf9PVLtls— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) March 20, 2019
Thoughts and Prayers....
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Kittitas County Sheriff office, families and community for their great loss. No words can explain the depth of sorrow and grief...
To the wounded officer, prayers for complete healing, stay strong. pic.twitter.com/NfILhTw75c— Monroe PD (@MonroePolice) March 20, 2019
Our thoughts and prayers are with our extended law enforcement family at Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office, Kittitas City PD and the community. We are saddened by the loss of the deputy and pray for a quick recovery for the officer. @KCSheriffOffice #lakestevenspd pic.twitter.com/F1zj3kdemS— Lake Stevens Police (@LKS_POLICE) March 20, 2019
Our thoughts are with the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Department. Prayers for the Officers and their families. pic.twitter.com/5GXV4HGEIS— Kirkland Police (@KirklandWAPD) March 20, 2019
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office and Kittitas Police Department, as well as the friends and family of the deputy who offered the ultimate sacrifice. pic.twitter.com/ndEQFhSF4H— Lewis County Sheriff (@LCSheriff) March 20, 2019