A Washington State Police trooper was attempting to deploy spike strips to bring a pursuit to a stop when the fleeing vehicle struck and killed him on Tuesday afternoon in Chehalis, according to a department spokesperson, reports Q13Fox.
Trooper Will Finn said a car involved in a Thurston County pursuit crashed into Trooper Justin Schaffer, 28. Schaffer died at Harborview Medical Center, Finn said.
Schaffer spent seven years with the Washington State Patrol. The trooper's death in the line of duty marks the 30th in the Washington State Patrol's history, reports KATU.
Authorities said the incident began when a 39-year-old man allegedly stole lighter fluid from a Pacific Mini Mart and pointed a stun gun at a clerk who tried to follow him out of the store. The suspect reportedly got in a truck and drove it toward the clerk before driving away.
The next day Thurston County deputies spotted what appeared to be the same truck on I-5 and began a pursuit that ended with the crash that killed Trooper Schaffer.