Crime

Manhunt near Grandview searches for suspects who shot at WSP trooper

Washington State Patrol troopers and detectives investigate the scene after two suspects and a state patrol trooper exchanged gunfire near Grandview. Authorities are searching vineyards for the men they said opened fire on a trooper who tried to pull them over for speeding.
Washington State Patrol troopers and detectives investigate the scene after two suspects and a state patrol trooper exchanged gunfire near Grandview. Authorities are searching vineyards for the men they said opened fire on a trooper who tried to pull them over for speeding. AP/Yakima Herald-Republic

A manhunt was continuing Tuesday night for two men who shot at a Washington State Patrol trooper during a high-speed chase near Grandview.

Trooper Nate Dawson was not wounded but bullet holes riddled the patrol car’s windshield and shattered a computer mounted by the dashboard.

The trooper was trying to pull over a black Honda Accord about 9 p.m. Monday for driving 14 mph over the speed limit on Highway 241, the state patrol said.

After a six-minute chase reaching speeds of 100 mph, the men stopped in the driveway of a private home on Forsell Road outside of Grandview.

The suspects reportedly got out of the Honda before firing several shots at Dawson, but he managed to duck behind his patrol car, said Trooper Chris Thorson. The car’s front end also was damaged by bullets.

It’s not clear how many shots were fired or what type of guns were used, Thorson said.

Dawson, who has been a trooper for a year, fired back as the men were running off into the darkness. He then asked for and waited for backup officers to arrive before he started running after them.

The only description of the men released so far is that they are dark-skinned. They ran past the home and into a vineyard near 3830 Forsell Road, Thorson said.

A police dog tracked the men to a large shop before losing their trail, the state patrol said. A multi-agency response team including regional SWAT officers used a robot to search the shop for the suspects, but came away empty.

A state patrol plane flew above a vineyard both at night using infrared equipment and during the day, but no people were spotted, officials said.

Investigators were working on a search warrant for the vehicle, which was not stolen.

Under WSP’s policy, Trooper Dawson was placed on home assignment during the investigation.

Anyone with information about the men or their whereabouts is asked to call WSP Sgt. Greg Tri at 509-249-6741.

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