ELLENSBURG, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say the man who killed a Washington state sheriff’s deputy and wounded a police officer had said he was on his way to shoot a woman.
The Yakima Herald-Republic reported Friday that an investigation by Ellensburg police has found that 29-year-old Juan Manuel Flores Del Toro was on his way to the woman’s home when police tried to stop him following an erratic driving report.
Police say Flores Del Toro got out of his car and fired, killing 42-year-old Kittitas County Deputy Ryan Thompson and wounding Kittitas Police officer Benito Chavez on March 19.
Another deputy shot and killed Flores Del Toro.
Police say the man had also threatened to shoot a woman and her child earlier in day.
Police say the officers were not aware of the threats before the encounter.
Thompson was born and raised in Walla Walla, graduated from Central Washington University and started his career in law enforcement as a reserve deputy with Kittitas County in 2004. He went on to serve as a corrections officer before joining the Central Washington University Police Department in 2007. He returned to the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office in December 2014 and had been a deputy ever since.
Chavez returned to work in early July, more than three months after being shot.