Trooper shot in Walla Walla is in serious condition in ICU

A Washington State Patrol Trooper was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center after a shooting in Walla Walla. 

According to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office Facebook, the trooper's patrol car was rammed near the Sportsman's Warehouse on Poplar Street around 5:20 p.m. on Thursday. 

After his patrol car was rammed, he was then shot in the face by a suspect, deputies said.

The trooper was able to drive himself to Providence St. Mary Medical Center, where he was then airlifted to Harborview Medical Center.

The suspect was taken into custody.

WSP later identified the trooper as Dean Atkinson, who is a five-year veteran with the agency. He remains in serious in the ICU as of Friday morning, officials said.

An independent investigation of the shooting is being conducted by the Special Investigations Unit of the Walla Walla Police Department. 

WSP Chief John R. Batiste released this statement: 

"This evening we were once again reminded of how dangerous the profession of law enforcement can be when one of our troopers was involved in a critical incident while on duty in Walla Walla. We were also reminded of how strong and resolute our people can be when Trooper Dean Atkinson though seriously injured, found the strength to drive himself to the hospital. Trooper Atkinson is a five year veteran of the Washington State Patrol and I am both relieved and happy to announce he is now in stable condition.

Let me say thank you to the outpouring of support from the public. I am sure it is and will be appreciated by Trooper Atkinson and his loved ones and indeed all of the men and women in law enforcement in our state. Though there is certainly danger and cruelty in our world, there is also courage and grace, and for that we are thankful just as we are thankful for this fine young trooper's service and survival."