Cowlitz County sheriff’s deputy shot while investigating disabled vehicle

A Cowlitz County sheriff’s deputy has died after he was shot Saturday night while responding to call involving a disabled vehicle.

The deputy died from his injuries shortly after he arrived at a Vancouver, Washington hospital, according to a news release from the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office.

The deputy, who was not identified in the release, was shot around 10:11 p.m. after he was sent to investigate a disabled vehicle blocking Fallert Road near Kalama River Road northeast of Kalama, the news release said.

Police found a person of interest in the shooting, but detectives are still investigating other leads, according to the release.

The shooting is believed to be the first in-line-of-duty death in the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office’s history, which stretches back to the middle of the 19th century, Sheriff Brad Thurman told the Longview Daily News.

“It is devastating for all of us,” Thurman said.

All sheriff’s personnel were sent home, except for those investigating the shooting, and other law enforcement agencies are covering the county, the Daily News reported.

The sheriff’s office will provide more details on the shooting during a news conference Sunday afternoon.

“Our hearts go out to the family of the Cowlitz County deputy killed in the line of duty last night,” Gov. Jay Inslee wrote in a tweet. “Every one of these tragedies is a reminder that these men and women put their lives on the line every day in service to us all.”

The shooting comes less than a month after a Kittitas County sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed and a Kittitas city police officer was wounded in a shootout March 19 with an armed man. The suspect was also fatally shot.