Trooper James E. Saunders

Trooper James E. Saunders

Washington State Patrol, Washington

End of Watch Thursday, October 7, 1999

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James E. Saunders

Trooper James Saunders was shot and killed while making a traffic stop near the intersection of South Road 28 & W Lewis Street in Pasco, Washington.

He had radioed into dispatchers with a description of the pickup truck and the license plate. Within one minute of his initial call, a citizen used Trooper Saunders' radio to notify dispatchers that he had been shot. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The suspect was arrested the following day after officers conducted surveillance on several different locations, looking for the owner of the truck. The man was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole.

Trooper Saunders had served with the Washington State Patrol for nine years. He was survived by his expectant wife and 2-year-old daughter.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 9 years
  • Badge 1053

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

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The anniversary of your death is coming up again. I was called out of my apartment by a g/f to help her jump her car. I was within seconds of seeing you shot down. I am sorry There was nothing I could do. I start having nightmares around a week or two of October 7, RIP James E. Saunders.

N/A Witness

September 26, 2021

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