The Chronicle (Centralia)
Washington Gov. Jay Insee has directed state agencies to lower flags to half-staff in memory of Washington State Patrol Trooper Justin R. Schaffer, who died in the line of duty on Tuesday, March 24.
“Governor Inslee is deeply saddened by the death of Washington State Patrol Trooper Justin R. Schaffer, 28, and directs that Washington State and United States flags at all state agency facilities be lowered to half-staff in his memory on Wednesday, August 5, 2020,” according to the directive from the governor’s office.
Flags at state offices are to be lowered until the close of business or sunset on Aug. 5.
Other government entities, citizens and businesses are encouraged to join the recognition.
Additionally, a memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. Wednesday. Funerals were not allowed at the time of Schaffer’s death due to orders aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19. The service will be limited to 400 attendees, according to the governor’s office.
In addition to the flag-lowering for Schaffer, Inslee also announced flags will be lowered Tuesday in memory of Bothell Police Officer Jonathan Shoop, 32, who died in the line of duty on Monday, July 13.
Justin Schaffer died while deploying spike strips along I-5 in Chehalis after being struck by a fleeing vehicle driven by William D. Thompson, 39. Thompson remains in custody, though a judge found him not competent to stand trial.
Justin Schaffer was the son of Chehalis Police Chief Glenn Schaffer and Sheila Schaffer. He left behind his wife, Sandra Schaffer.
Justin Schaffer was born Jan. 30, 1992, in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. In 2006, he and his family moved to Chehalis. He graduated from Adna High School in 2010 and earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Centralia College in 2012.
He was hired by the Washington State Patrol in November 2013, and was commissioned as a trooper in September 2014. Schaffer was a K-9 trooper and drug recognition expert.
“He had many passions, including working out with Sandra, playing golf with his friends or watching football and baseball,” his family wrote in his obituary. “Justin enjoyed working with his hands and was always making new creations, whether it involved woodworking, remodeling their home or working in the yard. He was the type to always help his friends out. One of their favorite pastimes became cutting firewood together. If you truly knew Justin, you would know that he did not like anyone making a fuss about him. When he walked into a room, he always had the biggest smile that would light it right up.”