WSP trooper shot in the line of duty to be greeted with parade as he returns home to Walla Walla

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Washington State Patrol trooper Dean Atkinson Jr., 27, returned home on Sunday after he was shot in the face in the line of duty just over a week ago.

Atkinson, a five-year veteran of the WSP and a Walla Walla native, drove himself to the hospital on Sept. 22 after he was rammed by a car, then shot multiple times.

He was then airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in critical condition.

Atkinson spent just over a week in the hospital before he was discharged Sunday morning, according to a hospital spokesperson.

He will be greeted with a “hero’s welcome” upon his return to his hometown, where he will continue his recovery.

WSP, along with other agencies, will be escorting Atkinson home on Sunday afternoon, and the city of Walla Walla is asking its residents to come out and show their support.

“Trooper Atkinson has battled through his injuries at Harborview … where he went through several surgeries, and now, is eager to come home,” a news release from the city reads in part. “Please come out and show Trooper Atkinson why Walla Walla is so amazing.”

Residents are asked to start lining the sidewalks of the parade route beginning at 2:30 p.m.

The motorcade escorting Atkinson home is expected to arrive in Walla Walla between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Sunday.