Manhunt for Ex-Cop on the Run With Toddler Ends

( – News headlines recently exploded with the news that Washington state law enforcement officials were frantically hunting for a former school resource officer (aka school cop) after he allegedly gunned down his ex-wife and 17-year-old girlfriend on Monday, April 22. The suspect, 39-year-old Elias Huizar, skipped a court hearing that day where he faced child rape charges.

Local police officers and the Washington State Patrol (WSP) quickly launched the manhunt shortly after learning that Huizar reportedly shot his ex-wife, Amber Rodriguez, to death outside a West Richmond elementary school. The WSP confirmed that the suspect fled with his one-year-old son, possibly to Mexico.

The manhunt ended in nearby Oregon on Wednesday in a car chase and a hail of gunfire. Thankfully, officers with the Oregon State Police (OSP) found Huizar’s son, Roman Santos, unharmed.

Manhunt for Former School Cop Ends — Suspect Dead

On April 24, the OSP issued a press release detailing the safe recovery of one-year-old Roman Santos. The previous evening, the OSP received an AMBER Alert at the request of the WSP in response to the murder of Huizar’s ex-wife and girlfriend and the suspected kidnapping of Santos. The alert advised that Washington law enforcement officials believed Huizar fled in a 2009 Toyota Corallo. Reportedly, the vehicle had Washington license plates.

At about 2:40 p.m. on Wednesday, OSP troopers observed the suspect’s vehicle driving southbound near the 221-mile marker on Interstate Hwy 5. The troopers initiated a traffic stop, but Huizar fled and continued traveling southward.

Two OSP troopers pursued the suspect vehicle at high speeds. A minor collision near mile marker 209, and Huizar temporarily lost control of the Corolla. Troopers and the suspect briefly exchanged gunfire before Huizar continued his southbound flight.

Huizer crashed into a commercial motor vehicle as he approached mile marker 197. His car came to a halt in the interstate’s median. Troopers found the suspect dead from a self-inflicted gunshot when they approached his vehicle. They recovered Santos, unharmed, from the car.

The Tragedy Leading Up to the Manhunt

The tragic chain of events that led to Huizar’s death and the safe recovery of his son began on Monday at approximately 3:23 p.m. when officers from the West Richland Police Department (WRPD) responded to reports of a shooting at Wiley Elementary School. The cops found a woman’s body at the scene, and officials pronounced her dead.

WRPD investigators later identified Huizar as the suspect and his ex-wife, Amber Rodriguez, as the victim. Officers discovered a second body while executing a search warrant at Huizar’s residence. They later identified her as the suspect’s 17-year-old girlfriend and Santos’ mother.

The following day, the WSP issued an AMBER Alert for Santos on behalf of the WRPD. Officials later extended the notice to include Oregon since investigators believed Huizar was fleeing to Mexico. On Wednesday, the WRPD confirmed the conclusion of the OSP’s pursuit of the suspect and Santos’s safe recovery.

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