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Suspect in sheriff's deputy death fatally shot in exchange with officers

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Deputy Justin DeRosier with the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office in Washington was fatally shot while responding to a disabled vehicle, a death Sheriff Brad Thurman said was the agency's first in the line of duty in its 165-year history.

Posted: Apr. 15, 2019 11:20 AM
Updated: Apr. 15, 2019 11:20 AM

A suspect involved in the shooting death of a sheriff's deputy was fatally shot in an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement Sunday, the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office in Washington said.

Sheriff's Deputy Justin DeRosier, 29, was shot and killed on Saturday night.

Sunday, officers responded to a report of a suspicious person near Spencer Creek Road in Kalama, Washington, and shots were fired when they engaged with the suspect at the scene, the sheriff's office said.

The suspect was killed in the gunfire exchange. No officers were injured, the sheriff's office said.

Police have not released the name of the suspect.

The sheriff's office says the investigation into the shooting is being handled by the Vancouver Police Department.

Deputy's death was first in line of duty in agency's history

Sheriff Brad Thurman said DeRosier's death Saturday night was the agency's first in the line of duty in its 165-year history.

The deputy had been responding to a disabled vehicle when he reported to other deputies that he had been shot, Thurman said during a press conference Sunday.

DeRosier was flown to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, where he died, Thurman said.

DeRosier leaves behind a wife and a 6-month-old daughter, Thurman said while holding back tears.

Thurman said DeRosier had been with the department since May 2016 as a patrol deputy and boat operator. DeRosier would have started training to be a narcotics investigator with the drug task force in July.

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