State trooper remains in serious condition after being shot in the face in Walla Walla

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — A Washington State Patrol trooper who was rammed by a car and shot in the face in Walla Walla on Thursday drove himself to the hospital, law enforcement said.

The shooting occurred at 5:20 p.m. in the area of West Poplar Street and Northwest Myra Road.

The suspect, 37-year-old Brandon Dennis O’Neel, rammed the trooper’s car near the Sportsman’s Warehouse and then shot the trooper in the face, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

The trooper, Dean Atkinson Jr., is a five-year veteran of the Washington State Patrol.

After the attack, Atkinson drove himself to Providence St. Mary Medical Center. He was then airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he remains in serious condition in the intensive care unit as of Saturday morning.

KIRO 7 received video showing the convoy and the moment when Atkinson arrived at the airfield.

Shortly after the shooting, Milton-Freewater police from Oregon tried to stop a vehicle that matched the description of the shooting suspect’s vehicle. A short chase ensued but came to an end on Highway 125 North off Stateline Road, where O’Neel was arrested.

O’Neel is being detained at the Walla Walla County Jail.

Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted Thursday night in response to the shooting, thanking those who apprehended the suspect.

A GoFundMe was created on Atkinson’s behalf on Friday and has raised over $14,000 as of Saturday afternoon.