A man suspected in the killing of a Southwest Washington sheriff’s deputy is dead after an encounter with law enforcement officers Sunday evening.

The Cowlitz County sheriff told KGW that police fatally shot the man thought to have killed Deputy Justin DeRosier the night before. Two other men are in custody, according to the news station.

None of the men have been publicly identified.

The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office said the Sunday evening shooting happened in the area of Spencer Creek Road in Kalama. No officers were hurt.

The shooting came amid a manhunt for the suspect or suspects responsible for the death of Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Deputy Justin DeRosier, who was shot after being sent to check on a disabled vehicle that was blocking a road about three miles east of Interstate 5 late Saturday, authorities said.

DeRosier, a 29-year-old father and husband, died during surgery at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver. DeRosier and his wife had their first child in October.

He graduated from Kelso High School and Washington State University and signed on with the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office in 2016.


Darren Ullmann, Cowlitz County undersheriff, said few law-enforcement officers want to serve more than DeRosier did.

“He will be with us forever, and he’ll be truly missed,” Ullmann said.

“Most of us have known him most of his life,” Ullmann told The Daily News. “There were few cops who want to be a cop more than Justin did. He loved his job. He was incredibly good at it. And as you can imagine, as I’m obviously showing, this is very personal for our agency. … I had a lot of hope and plans for Justin.”

Gov. Jay Inslee wrote about DeRosier’s killing in a tweet: “Our hearts go out to the family of the Cowlitz County deputy killed in the line of duty last night. 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 of DeRosier 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.

Seattle Times staff reporter Dahlia Bazzaz contributed to this report. 

The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.) at www.oregonian.com