Trooper shot while processing vehicle to be towed - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Trooper shot while processing vehicle to be towed

LONG BEACH, Wash. (AP) - A Washington State Patrol trooper has been shot while taking inventory of a vehicle about to be towed.

The patrol says Trooper Scott Johnson was shot shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday along State Route 103. A man walked up and had a short exchange with Johnson and the tow truck driver, then pulled out a handgun and shot Johnson twice, including once to the head.

The patrol says Johnson returned fire but it wasn't known if the man was hit. Johnson was taken to a hospital in Long Beach, then to a hospital in Portland.

Trooper Krista Hedstrom says Johnson is alert and conscious, but in considerable pain at Oregon Health and Science University Hospital. Doctors believe his injuries are not life threatening.

The driver of the vehicle being towed had been arrested for driving while impaired and taken to a nearby police station. Authorities say there is currently no evidence the DUI arrest and the shooting are related.

Gov. Chris Gregoire today issued the following statement on the shooting of Trooper Scott Johnson, who was injured while searching a vehicle in Pacific County:

"My thoughts and prayers are with Trooper Scott Johnson this morning as he recovers from this terrible shooting.

"Trooper Johnson has spent a lifetime protecting his community -- and deserves our love and support at this critical time.

"This shooting is yet another reminder why we need to strengthen the protection of our law enforcement officers, their families and our communities. Trooper Johnson and all of our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve us. They are true heroes – and I stand with the entire law enforcement community during this difficult time."

(The Associated Press contributed to this article

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