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Officer Is First Killed in Agency's 165-Year History

29-year-old had wife, baby daughter
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2019 2:33 AM CDT
Justin DeRosier.   (Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – The Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office in southwest Washington state is mourning Justin DeRosier, who is believed to be the first deputy killed in the line of duty in the agency's 165-year history. Sheriff Brad Thurman says the 29-year-old deputy was fatally shot Saturday while responding to a report of a disabled vehicle blocking a rural road near Kalama, CNN reports. DeRosier was able to report to other deputies that he had been shot, but he died of his injuries soon after he was taken to a hospital in Vancouver, Wash. After a 22-hour manhunt, the suspected gunman was shot dead Sunday night, Longview Daily News reports. Thurman says the gunman was shot by two officers after emerging from woods carrying a firearm. It's not clear whether the gunman fired first.

DeRosier, a patrol officer and boat operator who had been with the sheriff's office since 2016, was to have joined the drug task force as a narcotics investigator in July, police say. He leaves behind his wife and 5-month-old daughter, KOMO News reports. "There are few cops who want to be cops more than Justin did," Cowlitz County Undersheriff Darren Ullmann said Sunday. "He loved his job, and he was incredibly good at it. Five-month-old Lily is always going to know what an incredible man her father was." Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted: "Every one of these tragedies is a reminder that these men and women put their lives on the line every day in service to us all." (Read more Washington state stories.)

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