Over $40k raised for WSP Trooper recovering from being shot in face

Sep 26, 2022, 3:54 PM | Updated: 6:22 pm
Dean Atkinson Jr....
Money continues to pour in for Walla Walla State Patrol Trooper Dean Atkinson Jr., who was shot in the face last week in an ambush-style attack on September 22nd. (WSP)

Update 6:20 pm: “He’s improving every day. Every day I see him. Today he was wide awake, yesterday his eyes were shut, but he was able to answer yes or no questions for me, give me a thumbs up, pump his fists,” Dean Atkinson Jr.’s father said. “Today his eyes are open and he’s looking at me and we’ve been chatting. I think the town is really rallied around Dean and yeah they’re doing a lot of good things back there and anxious to get back home.”

Money continues to pour in for State Trooper Dean Atkinson Jr., who was shot in the face in an ambush-style attack in Walla Walla on Thursday.

According to his father, Trooper Atkinson Jr. is breathing and eating on his own as he continues to heal from his injuries.

Harborview Medical Center says Atkinson is in serious but stable condition.

Atkinson Jr. – a 5-year veteran with the Washington State Patrol – plans to get married next year, according to the Go Fund Me page. They’re hoping to raise $50,000 through the fundraiser.

Suspect in Walla Walla trooper shooting held on attempted murder charges

“Dean is planning on getting married to his beautiful bride Meagan this next summer. Let’s help alleviate any financial burden they might have from this tragic act of violence on this amazing Trooper by donating what you can. All proceeds will be going directly to Dean Atkinson Jr.,” the fundraiser wrote.

The effort had raised just over $11,000 on Friday. At the time of publishing, the Go Fund Me had raised $41,953.

Atkinson Jr. was in his patrol car in Walla Walla last Thursday when he was allegedly rammed and then shot in the face by 37-year-old Brandon O’Neel. Investigators say the suspect had threatened to kill police in a handwritten note left in the apartment he was evicted from a week earlier.

The suspect was arrested about a half-hour later, trying to escape across the Oregon border.

Court documents say O’Neel has been charged with first-degree attempted murder with a firearm, first-degree assault with a firearm, and attempting to elude with a firearm. His bail was set at $1 million.

Despite being shot in the face, the Trooper still managed to drive himself to a local hospital. His injuries were so severe he had to be airlifted to Harborview, where he remains in serious but stable condition.

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Over $40k raised for WSP Trooper recovering from being shot in face