MYNORTHWEST NEWS

ICE confirms suspect who shot Kittitas deputy was in U.S. illegally

Mar 19, 2019, 10:35 PM | Updated: Mar 21, 2019, 3:44 pm

A deputy with the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office was killed in the line of duty Tuesday evening in the City of Kittitas. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed Thursday that the suspect — Juan Manual Flores Del Toro — was in the U.S. illegally, and had entered the country through a port of entry in Laredo, Texas.

Deputies were called to a report of a road rage incident in the Badger Pocket area of Kittitas County. Deputies tried to stop the vehicle involved at about 7:45 p.m., but the driver failed to stop. Deputies chased the suspect into the City of Kittitas.

Investigators said when the vehicle stopped, the suspect got out and exchanged gunfire with a Kittitas County sheriff’s deputy and a Kittitas police officer.

The deputy was shot and died from injuries at Kittitas Valley Hospital. Deputy Ryan Thompson was 42. Thompson was born and raised in Walla Walla and was a reserve deputy who worked in corrections and with the sheriff’s office close to 15 years.

The Kittitas officer was also shot and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center, where he was in satisfactory condition as of Wednesday morning. Officer Benito Chavez, 22, was sworn into office in July. He is married and his wife is expecting their first child. The police force in the small town consists of three officers.

Chavez was undergoing surgery for a shattered femur Wednesday, authorities said at a Wednesday morning news conference.

The suspect was also shot and was taken to Kittitas Valley Hospital. Ellensburg police told KIRO 7 the suspect later died.

 

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