Suspect in death of Trooper Justin Schaffer pleads guilty

William David Thompson will be sentenced on July 5 for the crimes committed in March 2020.

LEWIS COUNTY, Wash. – An Olympia man accused of killing Washington State Patrol Trooper Justin Schaffer has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

According to the Lewis County Attorney’s Office, William David Thompson will be convicted on July 5 for the crimes committed in March 2020.

Thompson, of Olympia, was wanted by police for stealing from a supermarket on March 23, 2020 and attempting to run over the clerk with his vehicle.

When police located the Ford F-150 and attempted to stop Thompson, he fled, according to court records. Deputies tracked the truck to Lewis County.

Thompson drove more than 100 miles per hour and used “all lanes and even the paved shoulder,” according to court documents.

Several WSP soldiers joined the pursuit using spiked strips.

Soldier Justin Schaffer, 28, was one of the officers using spiked strips when he was struck by the suspect’s vehicle. According to court documents, Thompson “contacted Schaffer directly.” He was taken to the hospital but died from his injuries.

Half a mile away, Trooper Michael Farkas tried to stop Thompson with barbed strips when Thompson “again headed straight for Trooper Farkas and his squad car,” despite having a “clear path to stay to the left,” according to court documents.

Thompson hit Farkas’ car, shearing off a bumper that hit Farkas in the chest. The object’s force could have caused serious injury had Farkas not been wearing his ballistic vest.

Thompson eventually lost control of the truck.

After a nearly hour-and-a-half standoff, during which police fired smoke canisters at the truck, Thompson was arrested.

CLOCK: Memorial Service for Trooper Justin Schaffer Suspect in death of Trooper Justin Schaffer pleads guilty

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