Trooper drives himself to hospital after being shot in the face

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — A Washington State Patrol trooper is credited with saving his own life by driving himself to the hospital after he was shot.

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In a news release, Washington State Patrol said that the trooper was first rammed by a suspect’s car, then shot.

Brandon Dennis O’Neel, 37, was identified as the suspect and arrested, KIRO reported.

The victim, trooper Dean Atkinson Jr. is a five-year veteran of the Washington State Patrol and was airlifted to a hospital in Seattle, where on Friday morning he remained in serious condition in the intensive care unit, KIRO reported.

A video obtained by KIRO shows a convoy waiting for Atkinson when the helicopter carrying him touched down.

O’Neel was arrested shortly after the shooting when police tried to stop a vehicle matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle, KIRO reported. After a brief pursuit, O’Neel was arrested.

In a tweet, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee thanked the officers involved in the arrest, saying: “Thank you to those who apprehended the suspect so quickly. Trudi and I join all those sending thoughts of comfort to the trooper who was able to get himself to the hospital. What an incredible feat of strength.”

O’Neel was detained at the Walla Walla County Jail on a $1,000,000 bond, according to online records.