LONG BEACH, Wash. — A Washington State Patrol trooper survived an attempted execution early Saturday morning, adding to law-enforcement fears that they are being targeted for violence.
Just after midnight, Trooper Scott Johnson, a decorated 25-year veteran, was processing the car of a drunken-driving suspect in downtown Long Beach, Pacific County, when a "scruffy-looking" man emerged out of the dark, according to the State Patrol.
The man mumbled something, and Johnson acknowledged him. When Johnson turned his attention back to the car, the man drew a small-caliber pistol and fired twice at the back of the trooper's head. The gunman then ran away.
One bullet grazed Johnson's ear. The other remained lodged in the back of his head. Remarkably, Johnson was in stable condition at a Portland hospital — alert, cracking jokes and able to describe the gunman to investigators and take a call from Gov. Chris Gregoire.
The incident comes amid one of the bloodiest stretches for Washington law enforcement in at least 50 years. Nine law-enforcement officers have been shot since Halloween, and six of them died. They include four Lakewood police officers — Sgt. Mark Renninger and Officers Tina Griswold, Ronald Owens and Greg Richards — killed in the deadliest single attack on police in state history.
Read full story: Wash. state trooper shot in the head, survives