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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I never knew or met you Trooper Saunders. I do know that I’m married to one of your very best friends Mike. He cries every time he thinks of you. I wish I could’ve met you. I spent 16 years in WA LE then retiring just this last September. Bless you Trooper Saunders and your family. Mike felt Jimmy was his best friend back then, maybe he could meet up with his wife and children someday

Sue Aagerup

February 20, 2019

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