According to Dean Atkinson Sr., his son improved significantly during his recovery at Harborview Medical Center.
SEATTLE — The father of Dean Atkinson Jr., the Washington State Patrol soldier who was shot dead in Walla Walla, provided an update on his son’s condition on Monday.
According to Dean Atkinson Sr., his son improved significantly during his recovery at Harborview Medical Center. He is now in serious but improving condition.
On September 22, WSP soldier Dean Atkinson Jr. was shot in the face in his squad car. According to Atkinson Sr., the suspect fired multiple shots into Atkinson Jr.’s window. He tried to defend himself by raising his arms and several bullets hit his hand.
Atkinson Jr. then drove himself to the nearest hospital, parked in the lot, and then knocked on the emergency room doors.
“He parked in a lot for some reason, I don’t know why. He knows where the ambulance is, but he didn’t want to forbid an ambulance from pulling up to the ER entrance,” Atkinson Sr. said. “I think he thought there were other things that were more important than what he was doing. “
Officers arrested Brandon Dennis O’Neel, 37, and took him to the Walla Walla County Jail. He faces three crimes.
When asked how his son felt about the person who did this, Atkinson Sr. said he would like to speak to him.
“I said, ‘Are you crazy?’ and he said no. He just wants to meet him, so I think there’s a lot he wants to tell him,” said Atkinson Sr.
Atkinson Sr. said his son opens his eyes, eats, breathes on his own, communicates through physical movements and is in good mental health.
Atkinson Sr. said his son has a tattoo on his arm that reads “Always come home,” and he’s grateful for it.
“He had a little angel by his side,” said Atkinson Sr [his survival] that Amelia was with him. He was very busy that day.”
According to Atkinson Sr., his son is expected to make a full recovery.
“If he wants to, he should be able to go back to doing what he was doing before,” said Atkinson Sr.
When asked how it felt to let his son experience what he did, Atkinson Sr. said his years of reacting to dangerous situations and other public service experience prepared him.
“I still call him Junior even though he’s 10 times my man for going through something like that,” said Atkinson Sr.
Atkinson Sr., a retired firefighter, served with his son in the National Guard. He said he’s happy to see his son recovering so well and will stay by his side until he’s ready to go home.
Atkinson Jr. has a lot to look forward to following his recovery, including his wedding next July.
Watch the full interview with Dean Atkinson Sr. here:
https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/father-wsp-trooper-shot-walla-walla-update-condition/281-fa6125d6-a9e5-4d75-93d6-473beddd158d Walla Walla WSP trooper who was shot is recovering at Harborview