WSP Trooper Shot & Killed near Bremerton - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WSP Trooper Shot & Killed near Bremerton

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BREMERTON, Wash. - The Washington State Patrol trooper shot to death during a traffic stop was a 16-year veteran.

Chief John R. Batiste told a news conference at the Tacoma hospital where the trooper was declared dead Thursday that the 44-year-old was a military veteran with a son who is a soldier.

Batiste says the trooper, who was based in Bremerton, was well-known and popular in the community where he often spoke in schools. His name has not been released.

Batiste says every police officer in the region is looking for the driver of the pickup the trooper stopped. He was found by a sheriff's deputy outside his car on Highway 16 about 20 miles west of Seattle, across Puget Sound.

The truck was found abandoned a couple of miles away.

The last Washington State Patrol trooper killed on duty was James Saunders, 31, who was shot in 1999 during a traffic stop in Pasco. Nicolas S. Vasquez pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.