A Washington State police officer was killed in the line of duty this week. Forty-two-year-old sheriff's deputy Ryan Thompson was killed by a road rage suspect on Tuesday, March 19.
Another police officer was wounded and the suspect died in the shoot out in central Washington state. The suspect was living in the United States illegally, the federal government said Thursday according to the Yakima Herald.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Juan Manuel Flores Del Toro, 29, was a citizen of Mexico. He entered the United States in 2014 at Laredo, Texas, on a temporary agricultural worker visa. He never extended his visa after it expired.
Ellensburg Police Capt. Dan Hansberry said Flores Del Toro lived in Ellensburg. It's unclear why the suspect led the police on a chase and then started a shootout.
Officers tried to stop Flores Del Toro's vehicle after they received a complaint about the motorist's driving that authorities have described as a "road-rage type event." Police engaged in a chase.
Flores Del Toro's car stopped at a house in a trailer park near the small town of Kittitas. Flores Del Toro got out of the vehicle, and he used a handgun to exchange gunfire with officers.
Sheriff's deputy Ryan Thompson was killed. Kittitas police officer Benito Chavez, 22, was shot in the leg, suffering a shattered femur. He was hospitalized Thursday in satisfactory condition.
Thompson was married with three children. Chavez is also married, and his wife is pregnant reported the Seattle Times.
“Our community has a very heavy heart today, and last night we lost one of our finest,” said Sheriff Gene Dana.
It was the first fatal shooting of a law enforcement officer in Kittitas County since 1927, officials said.
Please join us in praying for Thompson's family and their whole community. This is a tragedy that never should have happened.