BREMERTON — All available officers searched early today for the person who shot and killed a Washington State Patrol trooper during a traffic stop about 20 miles west of Seattle across Puget Sound.
The trooper had stopped a pickup around 1 a.m. Thursday on Highway 16 near Gorst and radioed the location and license plate number, said Trooper Russ Winger.
When the trooper didn’t respond to status checks, a Kitsap County sheriff’s deputy went to the scene and found the wounded trooper. He was taken St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma where he was declared dead.
A few hours later, officers found the truck abandoned on a county road about two miles from the shooting scene.
Troopers, deputies and other officers searched the area for the driver using dogs and checking residences, Winger said. Residents were urged to stay inside and call 911 if they saw anything suspicious.
Investigators know who the truck is registered to, but it’s unknown if that person is a suspect in the shooting, Winger said.
“We know we have a registered owner and that’s all we know,” he said.
The slain trooper is a veteran who worked out of Bremerton.
“He worked in the Kitsap area for quite some time,” Winger said. “He was a co-worker of mine.”
No other information was being released about him.
The last time the trooper was heard from was when he made the traffic stop.
“He routinely called the stop — license and location,” Winger said. “He failed to answer status checks.”
The deputy who arrived found the wounded trooper outside his patrol car.