Trooper's condition improves, reward offered for suspect - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Trooper's condition improves, reward offered for suspect

Trooper Scott Johnson was shot shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday along State Route 103 Trooper Scott Johnson was shot shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday along State Route 103
WSP sketch of shooting suspect WSP sketch of shooting suspect

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington State Patrol says they are pleased to report that the condition of Trooper Scott Johnson has continued to improve today, after his being shot in the head in Long Beach earlier Saturday morning.

"I am incredibly relieved to see Scott doing so well," said WSP Chief John Batiste. "Despite having been shot in the head, he was laughing and joking with those around him. His behavior today sets a new standard for professionalism and heroism."

State Patrol investigators continue to seek tips in the case, and have established a tip line at 1-800-283-7808. A few calls have come in and are being immediately checked out by detectives, though no solid leads have been developed.

"I know that local citizens are outraged at the ambush of a police officer who has served them so well for so long. We have every confidence that we'll get the tip we need to solve this case," Batiste said.

One person of interest was contacted this morning, but was quickly cleared by investigators.

A $26,000 reward is being offered for information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of the individual responsible for shooting Washington State Trooper Scott Johnson, Sunday morning in Long Beach.

The Washington State Troopers Association is offering $25,000 and Tacoma-Pierce County Crime Stoppers is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the shooter's arrest and conviction.

The suspect description has been updated. He is described as a White Male, 35-40 years old with light tan complexion. He is 5'10" to 5'11" tall, and weighed about 185 - 200 pounds. He was wearing a dark colored insulated shirt and possibly a knit cap. It is unknown if the subject was wounded by Johnson's return fire.

The original incident occurred shortly before 1:00 a.m. along State Route 103 near 12th Street, as Johnson was inventorying the contents of a vehicle about to be towed. A subject walked up, and there was a short verbal exchange between the subject, Johnson and the tow truck driver. The assailant then pulled a small caliber handgun and fired twice.

Johnson suffered two gunshot wounds, one to the head. He was first transported to Ocean Beach Hospital in Long Beach, and then transferred by ground ambulance to Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. He remains there in good condition.

Johnson is a 25-year veteran of the state patrol. He was assigned to the Pacific County area upon graduation from the academy in 1984 and has worked the area his entire career.

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