Public memorial, caravan for fallen WSP trooper held Tuesday

Mar 12, 2024, 7:37 AM | Updated: 5:11 pm

public memorial wsp...

Framed photo of WSP Trooper Christopher Gadd at a memorial service (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

There was a large turnout inside the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett Tuesday as the community honored a Washington State Patrol (WSP) trooper who was killed earlier this month in the line of duty.

Officers from all over the state and everyday citizens came to thank Trooper Christopher Gadd for his service and to say goodbye.

Gadd, 27, was killed on Saturday, March 2 after his patrol vehicle was struck around 3 a.m. A witness told Snohomish County deputies the SUV was driving fast, swerved and struck the back of Gadd’s patrol vehicle. The SUV then bounced off the trooper’s vehicle, stopped in the fast lane and was subsequently hit by a van with six people inside.

During the ceremony Tuesday, Gadd’s pastor and family friend Matt Krachunis, who said Gadd “deeply loved others,” spoke of his longtime admiration for Gadd’s accomplishments and determination.

“Chris took the world by the reigns and he just did it,” Krachunis said during the ceremony. “Chris made his own decisions and he was his own man. And if you knew Chris, he always wanted to improve himself and he always made his decisions based on what he thought was important.”

WSP Corporal Alexis Robinson, who was one of Gadd’s academy instructors, spoke highly of the fallen trooper during her remarks Tuesday.

“Chris’ humility and dedication to his classmates, the agency, serving the people of his state, and learning his craft, were immediately evident.”

During his remarks, WSP Chief John Batiste said Gadd was “the best of us,” noting the success Gadd saw at the academy.

“He showed that in his training… graduating first in his basic trooper training class. Chris showed that in his service by dutifully working the roads here in Snohomish County.”

Gadd served 2 1/2 years with WSP and is survived by his wife, Cammryn, daughter Kaelyn, father WSP Trooper David Gadd, mother Gillian and sister, Jacqueline, who currently serves as a trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety, according to KIRO 7.

Gadd was the 33rd WSP trooper killed in the line of duty.

More from WSP: Man faces multiple charges after WSP trooper shooting in Kent

Previous statements before the public memorial from WSP

In a news conference on Saturday, March 2, WSP Chief John Batiste called Gadd “a truly good man who was dedicated to the job and community.”

“It is with a heavy heart that we report we lost a brother today,” Chris Loftis, a spokesperson with WSP, told KIRO Newsradio. “The troopers sign up for danger. They are brave people.”
The procession began around 11 a.m. at the Tulalip Resort and Casino with the car caravan ending at the Everett arena.

More on WSP trooper’s death: Man suspected of killing WSP trooper was in the country illegally, ICE says

The man who allegedly hit the trooper, Raul Benitez Santana, 32, admitted to drinking two beers and smoking marijuana before hitting the back of the trooper’s vehicle.

ICE has since reported that Santana is a citizen of Mexico. He’s currently being held in the Snohomish County Jail and is facing vehicular homicide charges in Gadd’s death.

Contributing: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio; Steve Coogan, MyNorthwest; KIRO 7 

Frank Sumrall is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here and you can email him here.

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