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Wash. trooper ambushed, shot in the face, sets return to service as number one goal

“If I don’t get to put the uniform on, it’ll be a bad day,” said Trooper Atkinson



By Bill Carey

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A Washington State Patrol trooper who was ambushed and shot in the face in 2022, received a hero’s welcome at the state capital on Monday. The state’s House of Representatives gave Atkinson a proclamation honoring his desire to return to service, as well as a standing ovation, KING5 reported.

Trooper Dean Atkinson was in his cruiser when Brandon Dennis O’Neel walked up to Atkinson’s vehicle and shot him several times. Atkinson, wounded in the face and hand, drove himself to a local hospital. From there he was transported to the intensive care unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

O’Neel had made prior threats to kill police officers after receiving an eviction notice.

“If I don’t get to put the uniform on, it’ll be a bad day,” Atkinson said. “So, my one goal is to get the French blue back on and however long that takes, is how long it takes.”

Atkinson lost parts of two fingers and has been undergoing physical therapy as part of his continued recovery. He believes he has had his last surgery.

“It’s probably in his DNA, so he is there to serve the people and protect them,” said Rep. Mark Klicker. “So, this resolution is to honor him because of what he is doing for us.”