KALAMA, WA. (THECOUNT) — A Cowlitz County sheriff’s deputy shot in the line of duty Saturday night has died at an area hospital of gunshot injuries. Investigators say they have located a person of interest in the shooting, the sheriff’s office confirmed Sunday morning.
The fatal shooting is believed to be the first in-line-of-duty death in the agency’s history, which stretches back to the middle of the 19th century, A department official said.
The deputy, who has not been identified, passed away at PeaceHealth Medical Center in Vancouver shortly after being transported via medical helicopter.
The shooting occurred near the 100 block of Fallert Road, near Kalama River Road, shortly after 10 p.m. The area where the shooting occurred is currently closed with the exception to local traffic only on Fallert Road. Investigators are asking the public to avoid the area unless absolutely necessary. There is no timeline currently available for reopening, TDN is reporting.
The deputy was dispatched to a disabled vehicle blocking the roadway on Fallert Road. A short time after arriving he was shot.
“Life-saving efforts were made at the scene by responding officers. The deputy was transported by LifeFlight but regrettably, the deputy succumbed to his injuries a short time after arriving,” according to a sheriff’s press release.
“It is devastating for all of us,” Sheriff Brad Thurman told The Daily News Sunday morning.
He said all sheriff’s personnel were sent home, except for those investigating the shooting, and other law enforcement agencies are covering the county during this period of grief.
The Clark County Major Crimes Unit is investigating the case, he said. The person of interest was found in the area of the shooting, Thurman said, but no other information was made public.
Clark County Authorities are asking anyone with information relating to this shooting to please call Sergeant Todd Barsness with the Clark County Major Crimes Unit at 360-397-2020 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Geo quick facts: Kalama is a city in Cowlitz County, Washington, United States. It is part of the Longview, Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 2,500, according to the Washington State Office of Financial Management – Wikipedia.