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WSP trooper shot in Walla Walla now in serious condition

According to WSP, the trooper was shot in the face during a traffic stop and then drove himself 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 attempting to apprehend a shooting suspect in Walla Walla.

WSP has now identified the trooper as Trooper Dean Atkinson Jr.

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

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

On Thursday, Sept. 22, Walla Walla area police officers responded to a 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 matching the description from the shooting. After a short pursuit, officers were able to stop the vehicle on Highway 125 north of Stateline Road.

Officers arrested Brandon Dennis O'Neel, 37, and took him to the Walla Walla County Jail.

Statement from WSP Chief John R. Batiste:

“This evening we were once again reminded of how dangerous the profession of law enforcement can be when one of our troopers was involved in a critical incident while on duty in Walla Walla. We were also reminded of how strong and resolute our people can be when Trooper Dean Atkinson though seriously injured, found the strength to drive himself to the hospital. Trooper Atkinson is a five year veteran of the Washington State Patrol and I am both relieved and happy to announce he is now in stable condition.  

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

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