Ex-police officer wanted in 2 killings shoots, kills self in Oregon: authorities

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A former Washington state police officer wanted after killing two people, including his ex-wife, was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a chase in Oregon, authorities said Tuesday.

The man’s 1-year-old baby, who was with him, was taken safely into custody by Oregon State Police troopers.

The multi-state manhunt started Monday afternoon when police say Elias Huizar, a former Yakima police officer, fled the scene of a shooting at William Wiley Elementary School in West Richland, Washington, where his ex-wife, Amber Marie Rodriguez, was gunned down.

Police said Huizar shot Rodriguez eight times outside of the school in front of their 9-year-old son, whose name was not disclosed, and other witnesses. Rodriguez had recently obtained a protection order against Huizar.

Dolphin found dead on beach with ‘multiple’ gunshot wounds

Rodriguez worked at the school, while Huizar had recently worked as a substitute teacher in the Richland School District, the district confirmed in a Facebook post Tuesday.

The body of another female was also found in Huizar’s home, according to Seattle CBS affiliate KIRO. She was also the mother of the 1-year-old. Police did not identify her, except to say she was Huizar’s girlfriend.

The search for Amber Alert suspect Elias Huizar ended along I-5 toward Eugene when the suspect shot himself, April 23, 2024 (KOIN)
The search for Amber Alert suspect Elias Huizar ended along I-5 toward Eugene when the suspect shot himself, April 23, 2024 (KOIN)

Police said Huizar fled the state with the 1-year-old after the killings. An Amber Alert was issued late Monday evening for the child.

Overnight Tuesday, Huizar was spotted stopping at a Plaid Pantry on Hayden Island in Portland, according to authorities. Multnomah County deputies also told Nexstar’s KOIN that they went to Bridal Veil to investigate a vehicle that potentially matched the description of Huizar’s sedan.

Troopers began chasing Huizar when they saw him driving southbound on Interstate 5 near Eugene, Oregon, at about 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Oregon State Police Capt. Kyle Kennedy said at a media briefing Tuesday evening that Huizar fled after a trooper tried to pull over his vehicle.

Troopers pursued Huizar’s vehicle at high speeds and at one point exchanged gunfire with him, according to Kennedy. The pursuit, over about 25 miles, ended when Huizar’s vehicle hit a commercial vehicle that was stopped on the interstate because of an unrelated crash.

“Near milepost 209, there was a minor collision and the suspect vehicle lost control. An exchange of gunfire occurred prior to the vehicle fleeing again southbound,” Kennedy said, adding that he didn’t believe anyone was hurt during the exchange of gunfire.

Huizar’s vehicle then spun and became immobile in the median, and when troopers tried to make contact with him, he shot himself and died at the scene, Kennedy said. The 1-year-old was uninjured and removed from the vehicle, Kennedy said.

“All day our thoughts have been how to rescue this young boy and we’re thankful for the outcome that occurred,” Kennedy said.

Son of Dunkin’ worker has perfect response after car crashes into coffee shop

According to court records, Huizar, 39, had at least until early this year been living with a 17-year-old girl whom he met when she was 11 and he was a middle school resource officer in Yakima. He impregnated her when she was 15; their baby recently turned 1, Rodriguez wrote in seeking a protection order against Huizar.

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.

In February, the 17-year-old girl 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.

Rodriguez wrote in her petition for a protection order that her divorce from Huizar became final last year and that she had not been aware that he was having a relationship with the same teen he had met as a resource officer until he was charged with rape.

She said she feared for the safety of her children and that she would be seeking a modification of their parenting plan. She filed for the modification last Friday, court records show. The protection order was issued in February and was to remain in effect for a year; under it, Huizar was barred from possessing firearms.

The Richland School District said it terminated Huizar’s employment following his arrest in February. It said it had received recommendations from the Yakima School District before hiring him in 2022, and that he had passed background checks.

“We are extremely disheartened that information about Mr. Huizar’s past was not disclosed to us through the various processes we have in place to vet RSD candidates for employment,” the district said. “It is the expectation for individuals who apply for employment with RSD to be forthcoming and truthful in their applications.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to Queen City News.