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Road rage suspect kills Washington state deputy in gun fight

Published
The body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy is draped with a U.S. flag as it is carried out of Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. A sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A sheriff's deputy was killed in central Washington state and a police officer was shot and wounded after they exchanged gunfire with a road rage driving suspect, authorities said Wednesday. The driver was also shot and later died at a hospital.

The events unfolded Tuesday evening when the two officers tried to stop the suspect's vehicle after authorities received a complaint about the motorist's driving, said Ellensburg Police Chief Ken Wade.

The suspect, who has not been identified, was chased by police until the driver stopped the car near the town of Kittitas. He got out and exchanged gunfire with the sheriff's deputy and the police officer, Wade said.

"It was reported as a road-rage type event, with erratic driving on the part of the suspect," said Wade, whose office is investigating the incident.

Sheriff's deputy Ryan Thompson, 42, was killed and Kittitas police officer Benito Chavez, 22, was shot in the leg and suffered a shattered femur, Wade said.

The suspect died at a hospital and Wade said authorities were still trying to identify him. Authorities did not provide information about how many times he was shot and Wade said he did not know how many shots were fired overall by the officers and the suspect.

Thompson had been a law enforcement officer for years, joined the sheriff's department in 2013 and is survived by his wife and three children, said Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana.

"Our community has a very heavy heart today," Dana told reporters. "This officer was a great officer."

It was the first fatal shooting of a law enforcement officer in the rural county in 92 years, he said.

Wade said authorities have no other information besides the road rage incident for what might have prompted the suspect to flee and exchange gunfire with the officers.

This undated photo released by the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office shows Deputy Ryan Thompson. Thompson, 42, was shot and killed and a police officer was wounded after they exchanged gunfire with a road rage driving suspect Tuesday, March 19, 2019, authorities said Wednesday, March, 20, 2019. The events unfolded Tuesday evening when the two officers tried to stop the suspect's vehicle after authorities received a complaint about the motorist's driving, authorities said. (Kittitas County Sheriff's Office via AP)
The body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy is draped with a U.S. flag as it is carried out of Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash., as seen through a large circular entry window. A sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Fire and law enforcement officials join others in saluting as the body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy draped with a U.S. flag is carried out of Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. A Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
The body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy is draped with a U.S. flag as it is carried out of Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash., as seen through a large circular entry window. A Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
The body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy is draped with a U.S. flag as it is carried out of Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash., as seen through a large circular entry window. A Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
The body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy is draped with a U.S. flag as it is loaded into an ambulance for a procession away from Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. A Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
A law enforcement chaplain walks into Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital, in the late night hours of Tuesday, March 19, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash., prior to a procession to accompany the body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy away from the hospital. A Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
A Kittitas Valley Fire & Rescue ambulance carries the body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy away from Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. A Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana speaks at a news conference, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. about the death of Deputy Ryan Thompson, who was killed Tuesday evening when he and a Kittitas Police officer exchanged gunfire with a road-rage driving suspect in Kittitas, Wash. The driver of the vehicle was also shot and later died at a hospital. (Jake Green/The Daily Record via AP)
Ellensburg Police Chief Ken Wade, center, talks to reporters as Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana, left, and Kittitas Police Chief Chris Taylor, right, look on during a news conference, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. Wade was talking about the death of Deputy Ryan Thompson, who was killed Tuesday evening when he and a Kittitas Police officer exchanged gunfire with a road-rage driving suspect in Kittitas, Wash. The driver of the vehicle was also shot and later died at a hospital. (Jake Green/The Daily Record via AP)
An EMT reacts while listening to Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana, not shown, speak at a news conference, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. about the death of Deputy Ryan Thompson, who was killed Tuesday evening when he and a Kittitas Police officer exchanged gunfire with a road-rage driving suspect in Kittitas, Wash. The driver of the vehicle was also shot and later died at a hospital. (Jake Green/The Daily Record via AP)
Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana speaks at a news conference, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. about the death of Deputy Ryan Thompson, who was killed Tuesday evening when he and a Kittitas Police officer exchanged gunfire with a road-rage driving suspect in Kittitas, Wash. The driver of the vehicle was also shot and later died at a hospital. (Jake Green/The Daily Record via AP)
This undated photo released by the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office shows Deputy Ryan Thompson. Thompson, 42, was shot and killed and a police officer was wounded after they exchanged gunfire with a road rage driving suspect Tuesday, March 19, 2019, authorities said Wednesday, March, 20, 2019. The events unfolded Tuesday evening when the two officers tried to stop the suspect's vehicle after authorities received a complaint about the motorist's driving, authorities said. (Kittitas County Sheriff's Office via AP)
This undated photo released by the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office shows Deputy Ryan Thompson. Thompson, 42, was shot and killed and a police officer was wounded after they exchanged gunfire with a road rage driving suspect Tuesday, March 19, 2019, authorities said Wednesday, March, 20, 2019. The events unfolded Tuesday evening when the two officers tried to stop the suspect's vehicle after authorities received a complaint about the motorist's driving, authorities said. (Kittitas County Sheriff's Office via AP)
An EMT reacts while listening to Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana, not shown, speak at a news conference, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. about the death of Deputy Ryan Thompson, who was killed Tuesday evening when he and a Kittitas Police officer exchanged gunfire with a road-rage driving suspect in Kittitas, Wash. The driver of the vehicle was also shot and later died at a hospital. (Jake Green/The Daily Record via AP)
An EMT reacts while listening to Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana, not shown, speak at a news conference, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. about the death of Deputy Ryan Thompson, who was killed Tuesday evening when he and a Kittitas Police officer exchanged gunfire with a road-rage driving suspect in Kittitas, Wash. The driver of the vehicle was also shot and later died at a hospital. (Jake Green/The Daily Record via AP)
A law enforcement chaplain walks into Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital, in the late night hours of Tuesday, March 19, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash., prior to a procession to accompany the body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy away from the hospital. A Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
A law enforcement chaplain walks into Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital, in the late night hours of Tuesday, March 19, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash., prior to a procession to accompany the body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy away from the hospital. A Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
The body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy is draped with a U.S. flag as it is carried out of Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. A sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
The body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy is draped with a U.S. flag as it is carried out of Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. A sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana speaks at a news conference, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. about the death of Deputy Ryan Thompson, who was killed Tuesday evening when he and a Kittitas Police officer exchanged gunfire with a road-rage driving suspect in Kittitas, Wash. The driver of the vehicle was also shot and later died at a hospital. (Jake Green/The Daily Record via AP)
Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana speaks at a news conference, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. about the death of Deputy Ryan Thompson, who was killed Tuesday evening when he and a Kittitas Police officer exchanged gunfire with a road-rage driving suspect in Kittitas, Wash. The driver of the vehicle was also shot and later died at a hospital. (Jake Green/The Daily Record via AP)
Ellensburg Police Chief Ken Wade, center, talks to reporters as Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana, left, and Kittitas Police Chief Chris Taylor, right, look on during a news conference, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. Wade was talking about the death of Deputy Ryan Thompson, who was killed Tuesday evening when he and a Kittitas Police officer exchanged gunfire with a road-rage driving suspect in Kittitas, Wash. The driver of the vehicle was also shot and later died at a hospital. (Jake Green/The Daily Record via AP)
Ellensburg Police Chief Ken Wade, center, talks to reporters as Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana, left, and Kittitas Police Chief Chris Taylor, right, look on during a news conference, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. Wade was talking about the death of Deputy Ryan Thompson, who was killed Tuesday evening when he and a Kittitas Police officer exchanged gunfire with a road-rage driving suspect in Kittitas, Wash. The driver of the vehicle was also shot and later died at a hospital. (Jake Green/The Daily Record via AP)
The body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy is draped with a U.S. flag as it is loaded into an ambulance for a procession away from Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. A Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
The body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy is draped with a U.S. flag as it is loaded into an ambulance for a procession away from Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. A Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana speaks at a news conference, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. about the death of Deputy Ryan Thompson, who was killed Tuesday evening when he and a Kittitas Police officer exchanged gunfire with a road-rage driving suspect in Kittitas, Wash. The driver of the vehicle was also shot and later died at a hospital. (Jake Green/The Daily Record via AP)
Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana speaks at a news conference, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. about the death of Deputy Ryan Thompson, who was killed Tuesday evening when he and a Kittitas Police officer exchanged gunfire with a road-rage driving suspect in Kittitas, Wash. The driver of the vehicle was also shot and later died at a hospital. (Jake Green/The Daily Record via AP)
The body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy is draped with a U.S. flag as it is carried out of Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash., as seen through a large circular entry window. A Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
The body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy is draped with a U.S. flag as it is carried out of Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash., as seen through a large circular entry window. A Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Fire and law enforcement officials join others in saluting as the body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy draped with a U.S. flag is carried out of Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. A Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Fire and law enforcement officials join others in saluting as the body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy draped with a U.S. flag is carried out of Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. A Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
A Kittitas Valley Fire & Rescue ambulance carries the body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy away from Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. A Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
A Kittitas Valley Fire & Rescue ambulance carries the body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy away from Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash. A Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
The body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy is draped with a U.S. flag as it is carried out of Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash., as seen through a large circular entry window. A sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
The body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy is draped with a U.S. flag as it is carried out of Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash., as seen through a large circular entry window. A sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
The body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy is draped with a U.S. flag as it is carried out of Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash., as seen through a large circular entry window. A Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
The body of a Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy is draped with a U.S. flag as it is carried out of Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Ellensburg, Wash., as seen through a large circular entry window. A Kittitas County Sheriff's deputy was killed and a police officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire during an attempted traffic stop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)