State trooper gets shot in face, drives himself to hospital, officials say

A Washington State Patrol trooper is recovering after being shot in the face Thursday in Walla Walla.
Published: Sep. 25, 2022 at 4:08 PM AKDT
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WALLA WALLA, Wash. (KPTV/Gray News) — A Washington State Patrol trooper is recovering after being shot in the face Thursday, according to officials.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook that a trooper, later identified by WSP as trooper Dean Atkinson Jr., had his patrol car rammed in Walla Walla and was shot in the face just after 5 p.m.

KPTV reports Atkinson then drove himself to Providence St. Mary Medical Center and was later airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for further treatment. WSP reported early Friday morning that Atkinson was stable.

Walla Walla police officers responded to the shooting scene a few minutes after the shooting and gathered evidence. WSP said a few minutes later, Milton-Freewater police in Oregon attempted to stop a vehicle matching the description from the shooting, and a short pursuit followed.

Police arrested the suspect, identified by WSP as 37-year-old Brandon Dennis O’Neel, and booked him into the Walla Walla County Jail.

The investigation is ongoing, and no additional details have been released.