WSP soldier shot in the line of duty in Walla Walla

According to WSP, the police officer was shot in the face during a traffic stop and then headed to the hospital. The suspect has been arrested.

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — A Washington State Patrol trooper is in serious condition after he was shot while trying to stop a shooting suspect in Walla Walla.

WSP has now identified the soldier as Private Dean Atkinson Jr.

According to preliminary information from WSP, Trooper Atkinson was shot in the face. The police reportedly drove to the hospital. He was treated at Providence Medical Center in Walla Walla and later transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

WSP has now released new information about the shooting incident and the suspect.

On Thursday, September 22, Walla Walla area police officers responded to the call of an officer shot on W. Poplar Street near Avery.

As officers worked to secure the scene and collect evidence, Milton-Freewater, Oregon police officers spotted a vehicle that matched the description of the shooting. After a brief pursuit, officers were able to stop the vehicle on Highway 125 north of Stateline Road.

Officers arrested Brandon Dennis O’Neel, 37, and booked him into the Walla Walla County Jail.

Statement from WSP boss John R. Batiste:

“Tonight we were once again reminded how dangerous the law enforcement profession can be when one of our Soldiers was involved in a critical incident while on duty in Walla Walla. We were also reminded of how strong and determined our people can be when Private Dean Atkinson, though badly wounded, found the strength to drive himself to the hospital. Trooper Atkinson is a five-year veteran of the Washington State Patrol and I am relieved and happy to announce that he is now stable.

Let me say thanks to the outpouring of public support. I am sure it is and will be appreciated by Trooper Atkinson and his loved ones and, indeed, by all of the law enforcement men and women in our state. While there is certainly danger and cruelty in our world, there is also courage and grace.and for that we are grateful just as we are grateful for the service and survival of this fine young soldier.”

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