A deputy sheriff of Kittitas County was killed on Tuesday evening while on duty in the city. ICE on Thursday identified the suspect of the murder as an unlawful immigrant.
42-year-old Deputy Ryan Thompson, who was born and raised in Walla Walla, was allegedly shot by 29-year-old Juan Manuel Flores Del Toro.
On the same evening, another police officer sustained injury from Flores Del Toro’s gunshot during a gun battle in the town of Kittitas.
According to ICE, the Mexico national presence in the US is an unlawful one. On April 11, 2014, Flores Del Toro came into the US on H-2A visa. Since the expiration of the visa, there is no record of the suspect leaving the US or renewing his visa, according to ICE.
The Gun battle
It all began as a road rage incident, authorities said. Deputies got a call from a man reporting the erratic driving of the suspect in the Badger Pocket area of Kittitas County. After being chased into the city by Deputies in an attempt to stop the suspect, he stopped the vehicle to shoot at deputy Thompson and a Kittitas police officer. In the process, the deputy was rushed to Kittitas Valley Hospital after being shot by Del Toro but did not survive the injury sustained.
The police officer, 22-year-old Benito Chavez, was also shot in the gun battle and was immediately airlifted to Harborview Medical Center where he is in stable medical conditions as of Wednesday morning.
The county sheriff, Gene Dana, described the incident as the worst he has seen in his more than 45 years in law enforcement.
The suspect also later died in Kittitas Valley Hospital having been shot in the crossfire, Ellensburg police revealed.
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