Deputy dies after being shot; suspect at large

No details about suspect were provided

KALAMA, Wash. (KOIN) -- A 29-year-old Cowlitz County deputy died after he was shot Saturday night.

Justin DeRosier, a Kelso native and new father, was airlifted to an area hospital after he was shot near Fallert Road and Kalama River Road around 10:30 p.m Saturday. He was dispatched to a disabled motorhome blocking the road and was shot sometime after arriving. He died in surgery after midnight. 

He leaves behind a wife and a 5-month-old daughter named Lily.

"Today is a sad day for the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office," Sheriff Brad Thurman said at a press conference Sunday.

Investigators said they had located a person of interest overnight Saturday. The sheriff's office spent the night searching for the shooter and continued the investigation Sunday. The Clark County Sheriff's Office took over the investigation.

DeRosier was a member of the SWAT team in Whitman County until 2016 and was slated to join the Cowlitz County drug task force this summer. 

"I had a lot of hope and plans for Justin and I saw him working his way up int his dept very rapidly. He had that ability," Ullman said. " Anybody who knows Justin would agree with this -- Justin was a bull in a china shop. You knew when Justin was there. He had that presence that couldn't be overlooked. He will be with us forever and he will be truly missed."

No other Cowlitz County deputies have died in the line of duty in the 165 years of the department's existence. 

Watch the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office Sunday afternoon update:



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