Standoff continues west of Grandview

Armed suspects believed to be barricaded in rural Forsell Road home

A Zillah patrol car sits at the intersection of Waneta and Forsell roads south of Sunnyside while a standoff continued overnight.

Photo by Roger Harnack
A Zillah patrol car sits at the intersection of Waneta and Forsell roads south of Sunnyside while a standoff continued overnight.

— A standoff continued early this morning on Forsell Road with two armed suspects believed to be barricaded inside a rural home or barn.

Law enforcement agencies from throughout the area closed several roads surrounding 3830 Forsell Road, the location of an exchange of gunfire between two suspects and a Washington State Patrol trooper.

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

The residents were safely evacuated from the area, troopers said.

The standoff began before 10 p.m. with a high-speed pursuit lasting six minutes, a 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, noting it ended when the suspect vehicle 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 returned fire and the suspects fled on foot, he said.

While authorities believe the two barricaded themselves inside, the spokesman said they couldn’t be sure, which prompted several area roads to be closed to traffic.

At the corner of Waneta and Forsell roads, Zillah law enforcement officers stood guard with tactical rifles.

At least three armored vehicles parked near the entrance to the driveway, in addition to Washington State Patrol troopers, Union Gap, Sunnyside and other law enforcement officers.

Forsell Road was initially closed between Waneta and Sunnyside-Mabton Road, but reopened about 2 a.m. to Den Boer Road.

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 or the negotiator barking orders over a megaphone.

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

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

“Nobody’s gotten hurt,” he said. “We want to keep it that way. We know you’re in there. Inside 3830 Forsell Road, it’s time to give up. You’re probably tire of hiding about now. If you follow the instructions given to you, I can guarantee your safety.”

As of 3:30 a.m., the standoff was continuing.


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