Community members and law enforcement paid tribute Wednesday to Kittitas County Deputy Ryan Thompson, killed Tuesday in the line of duty.
“This has a tremendous impact on our law enforcement community, not only locally, but across the state but across the nation,” said Ellensburg Police Chief Ken Wade, whose department is in charge of the investigating the incident.
Ryan Thompson, 42, was fatally shot Tuesday while exchanging gunfire with a suspect who evaded a traffic stop. A second officer, Benito Chavez, 22, was injured in the shooting and is in satisfactory condition.
Fellow officers held a short procession and saluted Thompson Wednesday morning as his body was escorted from Kittitas Valley Hospital. On Wednesday afternoon, a procession escorted the slain deputy to Ellensburg.
Agencies across Washington shared condolences for the officer’s family Wednesday, including Washington State Patrol and multiple police departments and sheriff’s offices.
Washington State Patrol Trooper John Bryant is the public information officer for Kittitas County. He referred to the connection between law enforcement member as 'The Blue Family.'
Trooper Rick Johnson told KING 5 that an officer killed in the line of duty, no matter where it is, has an impact on other law enforcement agencies.
"The community should be outraged," he said, adding that this "reminds us all it's a dangerous job."
Trooper Johnson was outside Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he and others were showing their support for Chavez and his family.
"We'll do anything they need us to do," he said.
Kittitas resident Tami Merkle visited the sheriff's office Wednesday to lay flowers and say a prayer. “You have to come and support our community. And give our love to their family and the fallen officer.”
First United Methodist Rev. Jen Stuart changed the signage outside her church Wednesday to read, "Together we mourn Deputy Thompson, pray for Officer Chavez."
“This is the kind of thing that can tear a community apart – it can also bring us together if we choose to allow it to do that,” Stuart said.