Manhunt continues

‘Dark-skinned’ men opened fire on trooper

An armored police vehicle moves along Forsell Road during the overnight manhunt.

Photo by Roger Harnack
An armored police vehicle moves along Forsell Road during the overnight manhunt.

— The Washington State Patrol is searching for two “dark-skinned males” following a high-speed chase and exchange of gunfire last night.

As of 5:30 a.m., Forsell Road remained closed between Den Boer and Sunnyside-Mabton roads while troopers awaited daylight to begin a more comprehensive search.

The road had been closed since before 10 last night when a high-speed chase ended in the driveway at 3830 Forsell Road, Washington State Patrol trooper Chris Thorson said.

County records show the home is owned by Edward J. and Linda G. Jensen.

The residents were evacuated safely as law enforcement officers in tactical gear moved in to search for the men who apparently selected their driveway at random, Thorson said.

Law enforcement officers set up a perimeter around the home and the surrounding farmland. Multiple agencies responded after the high-speed chase that lasted six minutes, another State Patrol spokesman said at about 3 a.m. from a command center on Forsell Road.

The pursuit started on state Highway 241, at Alexander Road, and speeds exceeded 100 mph, he said. It ended when the suspects turned into the Forsell Road home’s driveway.

“Two subjects engaged the trooper with gunfire,” he said. “Multiple shots struck the trooper’s car.”

The trooper, whose name has yet to be released, returned fire and the suspects fled on foot, he said. Authorities initially believe the two men barricaded themselves inside the home or a barn, prompted several area roads to be closed.

At least three armored vehicles arrived on scene, in addition to Washington State Patrol troopers, Union Gap, Sunnyside, Pasco and other law enforcement officers.

The red and blue glow of law enforcement lights from vehicles patrolling the area pierced the dark night.

The sound of barking dogs was interrupted by the boom of period concussion grenades and the negotiator on a megaphone barking orders at the suspects presumed to be in the home or barn.

“We are the police department. We have the place surrounded and we are not leaving,” the negotiator said over the megaphone. “Come on out. We’re not going anywhere. Come out, hands up.”

The negotiator said he would guarantee the suspects’ safety if they followed his commands.

“Inside 3830 Forsell Road, it’s time to give up. You’re probably tired of hiding about now. If you follow the instructions given to you, I can guarantee your safety.”

About 4:30 a.m., troopers determined the area was clear. After daylight, the manhunt was to resume.


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