Press Release


Kittitas County Sheriff's Deputy Line of Duty Death

Kittitas County, WA - 03/20/2019 - Last night’s officer-involved shooting claimed the life of Kittitas County Sheriff Deputy Ryan Thompson. Kittitas Police Officer Benito Chavez was wounded in the shooting and is currently at Harborview Medical Center.

Deputy Thompson was 42 years old.  He was born and raised in Walla Walla and graduated from Central Washington University. He started his career as a reserve deputy in 2004 and served as a corrections officer prior to becoming a police officer with Central Washington University Police Department in 2007. 

He returned to the Sheriff’s Office in December 2013, where he proudly served the citizens of this county.

He was a great officer and family man. He leaves behind a wife and three children. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Officer Chavez, 22, started his career with Kittitas Police Department in July 2018 and graduated the Basic Law Enforcement Academy in January 2019.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank all the responding officers, EMS, and all the hospital personnel.

Our community has a heavy heart today. Last night we lost one of our finest.

Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at


Contact: Jill Beedle, Public Information Officer