Law
1:31 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Slain Bremerton trooper was a 16 year veteran of the State Patrol

The Washington State Patrol says the trooper who was shot and killed during a traffic stop in Port Orchard this morning was 44-year-old Tony Radulescu. 

Trooper Radulescu served with the State Patrol for 16 years and spent his career in the Bremerton area.

WSP Chief John R. Batiste says Radulescu was a humble public servant, "the kind of person everyone wanted to be around, including me."

Batiste says Radulescu was well known in the community for his many visits and presentations at public schools.

Governor Chris Gregoire issued a statement, saying the state has lost a true hero:

“Today’s tragedy is yet more proof that there is no such thing as a routine traffic stop. Our law enforcement officers selflessly serve our communities to ensure our safety and for that, we should all be eternally grateful.”

The suspect in the shooting death shot himself hours later as a SWAT team closed in. 

28-year-old Joshua Jearl Blake was an ex-con with a history of drugs, assaulting the mother of one of his children, and kicking out the window of a police car. Blake was the registered owner of the pickup truck that Trooper Tony Radulescu pulled over just before he was shot to death.

Radulescu stopped the truck around 1 a.m. on Highway 16 near Gorst. He had radioed the location and license plate number, said Trooper Russ Winger.

When Radulescu didn't respond to dispatcher status checks, a Kitsap County sheriff's deputy went to the scene and found the fatally wounded trooper outside his patrol car. He was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma where he was declared dead.

Three hours later, officers found the truck abandoned on a county road near Port Orchard, about two miles from the shooting scene. Investigators received a tip on where to find the registered owner and went to the home.

"As our SWAT team made their approach they heard a single gunshot," Kitsap County sheriff's Sgt. Ken Dickinson said. "They found a male subject with a single gunshot wound." The man was taken to Tacoma General Hospital.

The Kitsap County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that Blake died after being taken to the hospital.