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Former police officer accused of murder and kidnapping dies of self-inflicted gunshot wound after manhunt, officials say

A man suspected of killing two women this week in central Washington and kidnapping a 1-year-old child has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a chase police in Oregon, authorities said.

The suspect was previously identified as Elias Huizar, 40, a former police officer who fled the scene of a deadly shooting at an elementary school in the town of West Richland on Monday.

Oregon State Police discovered Huizar’s vehicle traveling south on Interstate 5 near Eugene Tuesday afternoon, leading to a pursuit. The suspect got into a minor accident and he and police fired at each other before the suspect drove off, said Cpt. Kyle Kennedy said Tuesday evening. No one was injured in the first exchange of gunfire, according to Kennedy.

The suspect then crashed into another vehicle a few miles away, and when police caught up with him, they found him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Kennedy said.

Roman Santos, the 1-year-old, was safely arrested by state agents, police said.

Huizar was seen driving a black sedan Monday night, West Richland police said in a previous update on the manhunt. They received the information from police in Portland, Oregon.

Elias Huizar

Washington State Patrol/West Richland Police Department

On Monday, Huizar allegedly shot a woman outside William Wiley Elementary School in West Richland before authorities executed a search warrant at her home and discovered the body of another homicide victim, a West Richland police said after responding to the incident around 3:30 p.m. p.m. local time.

The women killed were Huizar’s ex-wife and girlfriend, according to a Amber Alert issued by the Washington State Patrol on behalf of the West Richland Police at approximately 9:45 p.m. Monday evening. The alert extended from Washington to Oregon. Richland police have not shared the identities of either victim in their own statements about the killings, although they have said the person found dead in Huizar’s home “is a known associate of the suspect.”

Huizar previously worked as a police officer in Yakima, which is about an hour’s drive from West Richland, CBS affiliate KIRO reported. His tenure with the force lasted from 2014 to 2022. Earlier this year, Huizar was accused in Yakima of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl and charged with second-degree rape and furnishing alcohol to minors, according to KEPR, another CBS channel. affiliated in the region. Separately, Huizar faces a charge of third-degree rape for allegedly having an intimate relationship for several years with a girl who is now 17, according to the news station.

CBS News contacted the Benton County District Attorney’s Office, where the rape charges were filed against Huizar, for more information but did not receive an immediate response.

Police earlier said they believed Huizar was headed to Mexico with the abducted child and initially reported to the public a silver 2009 Toyota Corolla with Washington state license plates, which police said he used to flee the scene of the school shooting. Authorities described 1-year-old Roman Huizar as 2 feet tall with brown hair and brown eyes. The child’s relationship with Elias Huizar was not explicitly mentioned.

Police had asked for help locating the suspect, saying he was “likely to commit further crimes.”

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