Washington State trooper recovering in Seattle after Walla Walla shooting
A state trooper from Walla Walla who drove himself to the hospital after he was shot in the face is recovering in Seattle's Harborview Medical Center.
The Washington State Patrol says someone rammed into Trooper Dean Atkinson's car Thursday, then opened fire. Reports state that the trooper was shot in the face.
Atkinson was able to drive himself to a local hospital. He was then flown to Seattle. WSP reports he is in stable condition.
The suspected shooter was later spotted by police in Oregon. WSP says the suspect was pursued back over the state line and was arrested in Washington.
Following the incident, WSP Chief John R. Batiste issued this statement:
“This evening we were once again reminded of how dangerous the profession of law enforcement can be when one of our troopers was involved in a critical incident while on duty in Walla Walla. We were also reminded of how strong and resolute our people can be when Trooper Dean Atkinson though seriously injured, found the strength to drive himself to the hospital. Trooper Atkinson is a five year veteran of the Washington State Patrol and I am both relieved and happy to announce he is now in stable condition. Let me say thank you to the outpouring of support from the public. I am sure it is and will be appreciated by Trooper Atkinson and his loved ones and indeed all of the men and women in law enforcement in our state. Though there is certainly danger and cruelty in our world, there is also courage and grace, and for that we are thankful just as we are thankful for this fine young trooper's service and survival.”