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Fallen deputy identified as 29-year-old WSU grad, new father

KALAMA, Wash. - According to the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office, 29-year-old Deputy Justin DeRosier was shot and killed while contacting a disabled vehicle Saturday night. 

The sheriff's office announced the news in a release Sunday morning. Cowlitz county is located in southwestern Washington, just north of Vancouver along the Washington/Oregon border. 

Deputy DeRosier was dispatched to a disabled motorhome around 10:00 p.m. Saturday because it was blocking a road in a rural area near the city of Kalama. A short time after Deputy DeRosier arrived on scene, he radioed that shots and been fired and that he had been hit.  

Kalama police officers arrived on scene shortly after and were able to pull him to safety. They tried life-saving efforts until Deputy DeRosier could be flown to PeaceHealth Medical Center in Vancouver, where he died from his injuries while in surgery. 

Deputies are currently on a manhunt for a person of interest in the shooting. The Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office said they are also "following up on other leads related to the case." 

Deputy DeRosier was born and raised in Kelso. He graduated from Kelso High School in 2008. He went on to Washington State University, where he graduated in 2012 with a degree in criminal justice. He spent the next three years working for the Whitman County Sheriff's Office before returning to Kelso in 2016 to work for his hometown sheriff's office. He had been serving as a Cowlitz county patrol deputy and a boat operator and was in training to join the narcotics team in July. 

Deputy DeRosier leaves behind a wife who had just given birth to their first daughter, now 5 months old. 

The sheriff's office is asking the public for any information that may be helpful to this investigation. If you or anyone you know has information relating to the shooting, you're asked to call Sergeant Todd Barsness with the Clark County Major Crimes Unit at 360-397-2020 or todd.barsness@clark.wa.gov.


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