Ex-Cop Wanted in 2 Killings Found With Gunshot Wound

Suspect Elias Huizar's baby was unharmed, authorities say
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 23, 2024 6:47 PM CDT
Fugitive Ex-Cop Found, Baby Safe
This image provided by the West Richland Police Department shows Elias Huizar.   (West Richland Police Department via AP)

A former Washington state police officer wanted in two killings has been found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a chase in Oregon, authorities said Tuesday. His 1-year-old baby was taken safely into custody by Oregon State Patrol troopers. The troopers began chasing former officer Elias Huizar when they saw him driving southbound on Interstate 5 near Eugene, Oregon, at about 3pm Tuesday, the AP reports. Huizar sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head; his condition was unknown, the West Richland Police Department said in a Facebook post. Huizar went on the run Monday after killing two people, including his ex-wife, who had recently obtained a protection order against him, authorities said.

The Washington State Patrol late Monday issued an alert that Huizar had fled with 1-year-old Roman Huizar. Huizar, 39, had a baby of that age with a 17-year-old former student, who lived with him as of early this year, court records show. The alert came after the West Richland Police Department responded Monday afternoon to a shooting outside Wiley Elementary School. Officers found Amber Rodriguez, 31, Huizar's ex-wife and the mother of their two sons, shot eight times near the school bus parking lot, according to a probable cause statement filed in Benton County Superior Court on Monday.

Investigators went to Huizar's home and found a second victim. The Washington State Patrol identified that victim as Huizar's girlfriend, but police Tuesday declined to provide further information or confirm if it was the teenage girl who had been living with him. According to court filings earlier this year, Huizar met the girl as a school resource officer in Yakima. She was 11 when they met, and 15 when he impregnated her, Rodriguez wrote in seeking a protection order against him. The Yakima Police Department said in a Facebook post Tuesday that Huizar left the department in 2021 "after receiving discipline." It did not provide any other information.

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Huizar had recently worked as a substitute teacher in the Richland School District, the district confirmed Tuesday. In February, the teen reported to police that Huizar sexually assaulted a 16-year-old friend, who had passed out at their house. Huizar was charged with rape of both the teen and her friend. He was out on bail pending trial, authorities said. The Richland School District said it terminated Huizar's employment following his arrest in February.

(More Washington state stories.)

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