Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Jan. 31, 2023

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State trooper returns home after receiving multiple gunshot wounds last month in Walla Walla


SPOKANE — A Washington State Trooper returned home on Sunday after he was shot multiple times last month.

Trooper Dean Atkinson Jr., a five-year veteran of state patrol, was shot in the left hand and face multiple times, according to the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. Atkinson managed to drive himself to the Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla before he was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for lifesaving treatment.

His family told the Union-Bulletin he is expected to make a full recovery.

Brandon O’Neel, 37, of Walla Walla, was arrested shortly after the shooting. He has been charged with attempted first-degree murder with a firearm, first-degree assault with a firearm and attempting to elude with a firearm, the Union-Bulletin said.

O’Neel used his vehicle to ram Atkinson’s police cruiser before he shot at him, officials said. A multi-agency team is investigating the shooting.

“Trooper Atkinson’s road to recovery will now continue with his family, friends, and colleagues at his side in the community he serves,” the Washington State Patrol said in a statement. “The outpour of community support, thoughts, and prayers for Trooper Atkinson and his family have been immensely appreciated.”