Trooper James E. Saunders

Trooper James E. Saunders

Washington State Patrol, Washington

End of Watch Thursday, October 7, 1999

James E. Saunders

Trooper Saunders was shot and killed while making a traffic stop. 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 the trooper had been shot. He was taken 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 agency for 9 years. He is 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

Most Recent Reflection

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I remember the day this happened. I remember the heartache in the community. The anger that this could have happened, and in our own town. This is something that I'll never forget. I never knew you, Trooper, but you were out there helping to keep the world a little safer.

Thank you for your service. Rest well.


October 12, 2017

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