UPDATE: Man who shot Kittitas Sheriff’s Deputy was illegal immigrant


A deputy from the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office was killed last night in a shootout in Washington Tuesday night, reported KIRO7 News.

UPDATE: 3/22 11:00am – Reports have come in that the suspect accused of killing Deputy Ryan Thompson and injuring another officer was in the country illegally. 29-year-old Juan Manuel Flores Del Toro was taken into custody after a gun battle erupted in a small Washington town. 

A GoFundMe page has been setup in Thompson’s name, already raising over $50,000.

“Ryan Thompson was a loving family man, friend, coworker, brother, uncle, son, husband, and servant to his community,” friends wrote on the page in Thompson’s memory. “He gave his life in the line of duty, protecting the community and those he loved. His spirit and love for life were bigger than his size.  He was truly a giant among men and will leave a void that will be hard to fill.

UPDATE: 2:45pm – The Kittitas Sheriff’s Office held a press release this afternoon regarding details of the shooting that led to the deputy’s death.

Deputy Ryan Thompson was named as the officer who was shot and killed by a driver who was being pursued for a road rage complaint. Thompson was 42 years old. 

Deputy Thompson began his career in law enforcement as a reserve Kittitas County deputy in 2004 and served as a corrections officer prior to becoming a Central Washington University police officer in 2007. He returned to the sheriff’s office in 2013, reported KIRO7. 

Kittitas Police Officer Benito Chavez, 22, was also injured in the exchange of gunfire. He was transported to Harborview Medical Center, where he was reported to be in satisfactory condition as of Wednesday morning.  

The police force in the small town consists of three officers.

The press conference can be viewed below. 

According to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office, officers were dispatched to a complaint about a driver in the Badger Pocket area of Kittitas just before 8pm on Tuesday.

Officers attempted to stop the vehicle named in the complaint, but the driver refused to pull over. The press release stated that, “The suspect exited the vehicle and exchanged gunfire with a Kittitas County Sheriff’s Deputy and a Kittitas Police Officer. The deputy received a fatal gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at Kittitas Valley Hospital.”

According to the report, the Kittitas Officer was also shot and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

The names of the officers involved are being withheld until the families are properly notified.

The suspect was shot during the exchange, and treated at Kittitas Valley Hospital.

A press release is scheduled to be held at 10am Wednesday morning to address the incident. You can view the coverage here. 


Law Enforcement Today will continue to update readers as more information becomes available.

This Line of Duty Death marks 25 members of law enforcement killed while serving in the 3 months of 2019.

UPDATE: Man who shot Kittitas Sheriff's Deputy was illegal immigrant
Kittitas County is mourning the loss of of one their own. (Kittitas County Sheriff Facebook)

The most recent officer to fall this year was just last week, on March 13th. 

Cpl. Daniel Groves, 52, was struck by a vehicle and killed while he was outside his patrol vehicle assisting a motorist.

Cpl. Groves was on patrol during a blizzard and located a vehicle that had slid off the roadway and was stuck in the snow on Interstate 76.  As Cpl. Groves was assisting the motorist, another vehicle approached his location.  The driver of this vehicle, a 2001 Volvo, was also traveling too fast for conditions and slid off the roadway in the same location.  The Volvo then struck Corporal Groves, critically injuring him.

Corporal Groves was transported to Platte Valley Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries a short time later.

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