Kittitas County deputy killed in the line of duty has been identified

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Law enforcement confirmed in a press conference that the Deputy killed in the line of duty Tuesday night was 42-year-old Ryan Thompson of the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office. 

"This is the worst night in my 45 years in law enforcement," Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana said. 

Thompson suffered a fatal gunshot wound after exchanging gunfire with a suspect following a pursuit. He was later pronounced dead at the Kittitas Valley Hospital. 

Thompson leaves behind a wife and three children. He spent 15 years on the force and was a graduate of Central Washington University. 

“Last night we lost one of our friends.” Kittitas Police Chief Chris Taylor said. 

Another officer who was shot and later airlifted to Harborview Medical Center has been identified as 22-year-old Benito Chavez of the Kittitas Police Department. 

Chavez was shot in the leg and suffered a fractured femur, and is recovering in the hospital, where there is a vigil set up for him. He and his wife are expecting their first child soon. Chavez was originally a reserve deputy and was hired as a full-time officer in July of 2018. 

The suspect was shot and later died at the hospital. 

Ellensburg Police is taking over the investigation, and their Chief Ken Wade says they believe they know who the suspect is, but they had multiple aliases and are awaiting official identification from the medical examiner. 

Wade described the officers responding to a road rage incident, and said the incident started when Thompson attempted to pull over the suspect for failing to yield, but they wouldn't stop, prompting the pursuit and ultimately the shooting.

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KITTITAS COUNTY - Kittitas County Sheriff's Office says that a deputy was killed in the line of duty and a Kittitas police officer has been airlifted to Haborview Medical Center.  

Deputies say they attempted to stop a vehicle that was related to a driving complaint just before 8 p.m. but the vehicle led them on a chase. 

When the vehicle finally came to a stop near Pierce Street in Kittitas, the suspect got out of the vehicle and exchanged gunfire with Kittitas County Sheriff's Deputies and Kittitas Police Officers.

One deputy who was shot was taken to Kittitas Valley Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. 

A Kittitas Police Officer was also shot and has been airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.KIRO learned from a Harborview spokesperson that the officer is in satisfactory condition Wednesday morning.

The suspect was also shot and later pronounced dead at the hospital, according to Ellensburg Police and the Benton County Sheriff's Office.

The names and identities of the officers are not being released at this time until family notifications are completed.

Ellensburg Police Department is being asked to conduct the investigation.


This story was updated to clarify that the suspect has not been confirmed deceased, as reported by the Kittitas Chief of Police.

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