Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Justin R. Derosier was shot in the line of duty near the 100 block of Fallert Road off Kalama River Road on Saturday, April 13. He later died from his injuries.  

Around 10:11 p.m., Derosier was dispatched after a call about a disabled vehicle blocking the roadway on Fallert Road. Shortly after arriving he was shot, according to a news release. Responding officers made efforts to save Derosier on the scene before he was life flighted to PeaceHealth Medical Center in Vancouver where he died late Saturday night. 

Derosier was 29 years old and leaves behind his wife and five-month-old daughter. In 2008 he graduated from Kelso High School and attended Washington State University for his degree in Criminal Justice. He was hired by the Cowlitz County Sheriff in 2016 and during his career, he served as Patrol Deputy, SWAT Officer, and a boat operator.

“Today is a sad day for the Cowlitz County Sheriff office,” said County Sheriff Brad Thurman while fighting back tears during a press conference. “It is the first time in 165 years in the sheriff office existence that we’ve lost a deputy in the line of duty.”

The Cowlitz County community mourned Derosier’s loss at a candlelight vigil Sunday night at Lake Sacajawea in Longview.

Law-enforcement agencies locally and across the state have since offered public condolences and Sunday Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted, “Our hearts go out to the family of the Cowlitz County deputy killed in the line of duty last night. Every one of these tragedies is a reminder that these men and women put their lives on the line every day in service to us all.”

The suspected shooter was killed the following night. 

According to The Daily News, the suspect was shot and killed around 7 a.m. on Spencer Creek Road after nearly a 22-hour manhunt and declared dead on the scene. The suspect was seen exiting the woods with a firearm on Spencer Creek Road. As of press deadline, authorities have not released the identity of the officers involved or the suspect. 

Nearby Kalama resident Trevor Broten was home with his family when Derosier was shot. 

“We were all in the living room together with the doors locked,” he said. “It sounded like war. There was a gunshot, helicopters overhead, and cops on a loudspeaker saying ‘put your hands up’.”

There has been a Meal Train started by the Cowlitz County Deputy Wives for the Derosier family. Organizers are asking people to sign up for one meal a day, and snacks that can be dropped off at the Kelso Sheriff’s office, 312 SW First Ave., Kelso. There are also sign-ups available to help with childcare, housework, yard work, and errands at the link below.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.