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WSP trooper killed during traffic stop near Gorst

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Feb. 23, 2012 at 6:49 am with 62 Comments »
February 23, 2012 2:26 pm

UPDATED at 2:23 p.m.

A possible suspect in the fatal shooting of a Washington State Patrol trooper early today has died after shooting himself while a SWAT team closed in.

Investigators had received a tip on where to find the registered owner of a pickup the trooper had stopped before he was shot.

“As our SWAT team made their approach they heard a single gunshot coming from the house,” Kitsap County sheriff’s Sgt. Ken Dickinson said. “They found a male subject with a single gunshot wound.”

The man, identified by Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer as Joshua Blake, was taken to Tacoma General Hospital. He died of his injuries this afternoon, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

Boyer did not call Blake a suspect in the shooting of trooper Tony Radulescu  and couldn’t confirm Blake was the owner of the pickup truck that had been pulled over in a traffic stop. Sheriff’s investigators stressed the investigation was still early.

Blake,28, has a criminal record that includes a 2007 conviction in Pierce County for meth manufacturing. He also had threatened to harm a law enforcement officer in the past , which was noted in his state Department of Corrections case file, agency spokesman Chad Lewis said.

Radulescu, 44, was assigned to the Bremerton detachment and had spent his entire 16-year in the district, a Washington State Patrol press release stated.  He joined the agency in December 1995. (Visit his Officer Down Page here to leave a remembrance.)

Tony Radulescu/Courtesy of WSP

“We’ve lost a co-worker, and the citizens of Washington have lost a humble public servant,” said WSP Chief John R. Batiste. “Tony was the kind of person everyone wanted to be around, including me. I truly enjoyed
working with him.”

Radulescu had stopped a pickup truck just before 1 a.m. on SR 16 near Gorst. The reason for the stop wasn’t immediately clear.

Radulescu radioed his location as well as the license plate number of the truck to dispatchers. When he didn’t respond to status requests, a Kitsap County sheriff’s deputy went to the scene and found the mortally wounded Radulescu on the ground near his car.

He was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma where he was pronounced dead.

In the hours since, law enforcement officers from throughout the region searched for the gunman and the truck. A Bremerton police officer spotted the F-350 pickup truck, abandoned, three to four miles away. The truck was on long, wooded driveway, trooper Russ Winger said.

A police dog searched the area around the truck but did not find the driver. Troopers were talking to residents in the area, Winger told KING 5.

Joshua Blake/Courtesy of DOC

A SWAT team, acting on a tip, responded to a home in south Kitsap County shortly after 9 a.m. where they expected to find the owner of the truck. As they closed in, they heard a single gunshot and went into the house, where they found Blake wounded. The house was the address listed on the truck’s registration, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The Seattle Times reported that a  relative of Blake’s was emotional when reached by telephone Thursday morning.

“We’re really sorry for the officer and the family,” said the woman, who declined to give her name. She also declined to discuss Blake.

According to court documents, Blake was arrested in June 2006 by Pierce County sheriff’s deputies who were watching several local pharmacies for purchases of pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient of meth. Blake told deputies he bought the cold medicine pills at small stores in Port Orchard and Tacoma and gave them to a meth cook, charging documents state.

“Blake admitted he was unemployed and purchasing the pills to make money,” court documents state.

Blake was sentenced to more than two years in prison for the conviction. He also has three convictions in Kitsap County fourth-degree assault, malicious mischief and violation of a protection order.

After his release from prison, the state Department of Corrections supervised Blake in the community from their Bremerton field office, spokeswoman Selena Davis said. Based on his criminal history, he was considered a high risk to commit a violent crime, meaning he fell under stricter supervision requirements.

Davis described Blake as non-compliant with the conditions of his supervision and he spent 47 days in Kitsap County Jail for failing to report to his community corrections officer and failing to complete a chemical dependency program.

Blake’s supervision ended in August 2011.

“We cannot extend supervision because of violations,” Davis said.

Lewis said Blake’s case file included information that he had threatened to harm a law enforcement officer in the past. Such threats are not uncommon and can result in closer supervision, Lewis added.

The Seattle Times reported that Theresa Meyers, who lives next to Blake, said that the rural property has long been known by neighbors as a place to avoid.

“They have a locked gate with the ‘keep out’ sign. They have a dogs and you hear rifles being fired,” Meyers told the Times. “When we first moved in there were people who would come in all day and night to that property, but then there was a drug bust at that property and it slowed down for a while.”

Blake, a carpenter by trade, had been doing well and working with his father in the family business, called Blake Enterprise, until his father died last year, said Sean Jeu, who lives next door to Blake.

The 44-year-old Radulescu was a military veteran and a father. His son is in the military. He was well-known in the community and made presentations at local schools. The Kitsap Sun wrote about Radulescu in 2007.

“The entire community is hurting today,” Batiste said. “There is nothing routine about what we do.”

Winger said he’d known the trooper for more than 14 years and described Radulescu as a close, personal friend.

“This is a very sad day for law enforcement and members of the community alike,” trooper Guy Gill tweeted. “We all lost a great man. Our thoughts are with his family.”

Sheriff Boyer said he’d known Radulescu since he joined the State Patrol.

“The thing that stood out the most about him was his positive attitude,” Boyer said. “Tony had a smile on his face the first day he came in. He always had a smile on his face.”

Gov. Chris Gregoire issued a statement this morning.

“There is nothing more difficult than losing someone who puts their life on the line to protect the lives of others,” the statement read. “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.”

A motorcade of police vehicles escorted the body of Radulescu this morning from the St. Joseph Medical Center to the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office, where an autopsy will be conducted.

As is routine, law enforcement officers will stay with their fallen brother around the clock until he is buried. Funeral arrangements were pending.

Radulescu is the 27th to be killed in the line of duty in the Washington State Patrol’s history. The last trooper to be killed in the line of duty was James Saunders, who was shot Oct. 7, 1999. The 31-year-old Saunders was conducting a traffic stop in Pasco when he was killed.

He is the second officer to be killed in the Puget Sound region this year. Margaret Anderson, a law enforcement park ranger at Mount Rainier National Park, was killed while manning a checkpoint Jan. 1. The gunman was later found dead on the mountain.

Staff writer Rob Carson and The Seattle Times and Associated Press contributed to this report.

Leave a comment Comments → 62
  1. meyerde1 says:

    Western Washington is beginning to sound like the old “Wild West” all over again. Its too bad we have idiots running around who have absolutely no respect for life! Pray for the trooper’s family – – they’re now the ones suffering.

  2. Sagebrush6 says:

    Guess I just have to ask why they didn’t go to St. Anthonys hospital which is north of Gig Harbor, new and only 1/2 the distance to St. Joe’s? Sorry for the troopers loss.

  3. Larryb253 says:

    They needed to get to a trauma center.

  4. gaines_inc says:

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and fellow Troopers as they deal with this horrible loss.

  5. Our thought and Prays go out to his family and fellow Troopers.

  6. flamotte says:

    We’re constantly hearing about ‘police brutality.’ Why are we not hearing about the rise in brutality against police? Bless the soul of the warrior whose life is all about protecting us.

  7. Misunderestimated says:

    God be with his family and fellow troopers.

  8. garthnbob says:


  9. Theiconictree says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the Washington State Patrol and the Troopers family. God Bless.

  10. garthnbob says:

    Is there something in the water? Unfortunately the Puget Sound area has experienced more violence over the recent past than any other area that comes to mind. David Brame, Josh Powll, Maurice Clemmons, Gary Ridgeway, and the incomparable Ted Bundy. These are just but a few….It is so sad that a few psychopaths can sour the reputation of a place filled w/ great people.

  11. I’ve been back in Western Washington now for about five years, and I honestly don’t know why.

    Having been all over the country I find this place to be filled with the most unfriendly, angry, self-centered, batch of bozos I have ever seen. I watch and experience road rage all day, every day.

    Frankly, judging from the hateful looks on so many faces as people drive I am surprised this kind of tragedy doesn’t happen more often! I’m not so sure I will stay.

    These people who spend their day risking themselves among so many selfish donkeys have all my respect.

  12. Chippert says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with the family of this trooper, along with heartfelt gratitude for all of law enforcement to put their lives on the line every day in an attempt in ensure that we can live in an orderly society.

    That said, my bet is that this person will never see a courtroom. When the suspect is located, the next stop will be the morgue.

  13. another_opinion says:

    This is heartbreaking! I hope the family can take some small comfort in the fact that the trooper will not be forgotten. Thank you to him and to his family for the sacrifice they have made.

  14. retiredssg says:

    The United States averages 1 cop murdered every day. A sad statement on the respect for law enforcement in this country.

  15. Comput3rguy says:


  16. My sympathies to the family, friends and coworkers of this man. I was stopped twice in six years about the same spot by a WSP trooper, the same person both times. One was a courtesy stop about a light and the other was one where I was, yes, guilty of speeding in a reduced speed zone.

    The trooper couldn’t have been more professional and courteous in doing what he was responsible for. If this is the same gentleman, then I am positive he would not have been inappropriately escalating a situation.

  17. God bless and keep him, his family and all of the other “peace keeping” providers he leaves behind.

  18. karenakers58 says:

    Comput3rguy — you are just RUDE!

  19. During the 33+ years my husband was a member of the Washington State Patrol I was often asked how I could live with the stress and fear of being a police officers wife. I usually responded with “I trust him.” I knew he was well trained and fully supported by his fellow troops and that was the best I could have. Somebody has to do the job.

    My prayers to this trooper’s famiy and all law enforcement officers.

  20. Comput3rguy, karma’s a b*tch. I assume we’ll be reading about you soon.

  21. Karen, comput3guy is not just rude he is stupid.

  22. I’m not sure why I’m responding to comput3rguy, since his worthless comment will be deleted, but it’s just that pathetic, that I have to say something. You are obviously a pathetic individual with no respect for life, so how about you just go ahead and take your own.

  23. Guns don’t kill people. People with guns kill people.

  24. Find the person who shot him and kill him. How can anyone justify not doing this?

  25. I just heard the suspect was found dead from a self inflicted GSW. GOOD!

  26. False report. Unfortunately the suspect is not dead at this time. We can only hope. Why waste tax dollars on that POS?

  27. I’m wondering if the gun used in this shooting, the one used at the school yesterday by the third grader and/or the one from the shooting in Poulsbo can be tied back to the former police officer who is to be sentenced today for illegal sales of firearms. Just curious.

  28. Reiker01 says:

    “May God keep and hold you, my dear fallen Brother In Blue. And may HE comfort your family in this tragic time.” AMEN

    And may the arrest team take the bastard who did this into the desert, miles from anywhere, and kneecap him and put him down like the animal he is.

  29. lovethemountains says:

    Comput3rguy, how long have you been out of Western State? Maybe you a Pikgitar can get together and commiserate Guess your treatment didn’t work.

  30. northendclub420 says:

    did the gun come from roy aloway….im not a fan of kitsap l.e.o. but my heart goes out to his family. i know in my heart that they are not all bad….such a loss

  31. Misunderestimated says:

    Comput3rguy, I can only imagine how sad your life is when you are off your meds.
    Sadder still is that your parents spawned

  32. ransteth says:

    There sure has been a lot of shootings in Bremerton lately. Wonder if has any relationship to the seven to forteen hundred guns Roy Alloway illegally dumped into this area?

  33. mustang6984 says:

    This is not good. As a former cop I am seeing way too many guys & gals shot in the line of duty these days, with seemingly little chance of this behavior stopping. I can remember when I started as an officer in the early 70’s that many of the guys who were veterans had gone their entire careers without ever pulling their weapons except to clean them or range shoot. Not so today. And that is not good. Society is going down the tubes.

    I hope the perp dies…slowly and painfully. I don’t want him to live, I don’t want to hear some B.S. about “why” he felt compelled to do this. I just want him dead!

    RIP Trooper.

  34. Jupiter25 says:

    Condolences to the trooper’s family. The only thing worse than a cop killer is a child killer. I hope the suspect who shot himself is dead by now. Too bad he didn’t take care of himself before he shot the trooper. It’s obvious he had no regard for human life.

  35. RIP Trooper!!! Justice is small. Bad bozo ran out of hope and dope!!!

  36. nosugarcoating says:

    I wonder if this truck has any connections with the 2 attempted kidnappings that have happened lately?

  37. Jupiter25 says:

    They should have left the suspect lying in his own blood, just as he left the trooper by the side of the road. Why waste any resources on this piece of junk? If he lives, too bad it’s essentially impossible to have the death penalty enacted.

  38. BlaineCGarver says:

    Blessings on his immortal soul.

    (Max doom on Comput3rguy…What a waste of oxygen.)

  39. franktheliberal says:

    It has been my pleasure to meet with and talk to many law enforcement professionals over the last couple years.It has defiantly changed my perception of who they are and what they do. It also brings home exactly what they risk every time they walk up to a car, alone at night. Police officers are human beings with families and serve you too compu3. There are schmucks in every group including those who comment here. The VAST majority of police officers are caring professionals who do their job the best they can with what they have.My thoughts and prayers go out to the trooper’s family and the greater family of law enforcement professionals. Next time a first responder pulls you out of danger or keeps you from killing yourself or someone else due to your own stupid behavior, take a second to say thank you.

  40. I am heartened that a significant number of commenters recognize the possible connection to dirty cop Alloway. Those guns he put on the street were unlikely to be bought for home protection.

  41. footballscaa says:

    That is too bad. However, it’s the constitutional right of every American to have a gun, right? Use it when they want to, carry it, threaten people over the internet with it. That’s what we want, right?

  42. Chippert says:

    To those of you who wish that the suspect had been left to die or killed on the spot, if that happened then our law enforcement would have indeed been absolutely no different than the person who shot the trooper. I don’t know about any of the rest of you but I believe in the “innocent until proven guilty” foundation of our country. This is more than a war between two groups out there. This is a war between the moral and immoral, between the people who value life and the people who place no value on life. Which side are YOU on?

  43. Why i it that all WSP patrol cars are not provided with video cameras? In a state that seems to find money for any and all social welfare programs, and a variety of wasteful projects they can’t place cameras in patrol cars that would assist in identifying, or apprehending criminals.

    Olympia should be ashamed that they fail the very officers they depend upon to protect the public as well as their own overpaid skins. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the officer’s family and friends. Kitsap County lost one of the good guys today. Meth rears it’s ugly head again at a cost we shouldn’t be willing to accept.

    A camera may not have stopped the bullet, but it might have made capturing the murderer a bit easier.

  44. ginahopk says:

    I don’t want to hear anymore stupid comments feeling sorry for the jerk who is sueing the state because the police broke his arm when he wouldn’t get out of the car when they told him to. For all they knew he could have had a gun. Our police officers risk their lives everyday so that we may have a safer place to live. My heart goes out to this officers’ family and friends. I am crying for him and them.

  45. jeffm209 says:

    Just yesterday a news radio personality said school and police shootings are “very rare”. I think it is time to re-define ‘very rare’… Especially in WA state.

  46. Since the cops themselves said that the guy who shot himself is not a suspect, I am wondering why the Trib decided to put his DoC mugshot in the paper along with his name and background info.

    I can’t count the times that the Trib has printed the statement that it does not publish names of people arrested until they are charged. Yet this case is different and I see no reason for it since the wounded guy is in custody (meaning they aren’t looking for him).

  47. everybodiesmom says:

    My heart goes out to the family and friends of the trooper, it is a very sad and scary day here in Washington. However, I also feel sorry for the gentleman who was yanked out of his car and had his arm broken by some over zealous power tripping officers. Perhaps if they took care of getting these aggressive officers off the street people would not be fearful enough to feel the need to shoot good officers! The same way officers never know what they are walking up to on a traffic stop, we the public never know what it is that is approaching us in our vehicles!

  48. Why did they spend all that extraordinary effort to save the life of the suspect? Now he is alive but brain-dead. It’s not proven yet but I suspect he was always brain-dead. Execution would still seem to be in order.

  49. tukwilatommygun says:

    another example of the new generation. meth fed, skinhead, x box pieces of low lifes. where do we cull the herd?

  50. everybodiesmom says:

    My condolences to the suspects family as well. All though we are not responsible for our loved ones actions unfortunately we still have to live with them. I know the days ahead will be difficult as you struggle to ask why this happened, my prayers are with you as well.

  51. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Blake did the right thing when he chose to improve the gene pool!! Hope he rots in HELL for his actions!

  52. @the3rdpigshouse, I just wish he could have reached that conclusion BEFORE taking someone else’s life. He knew he was a Po$, and should have scraped himself off the planet’s proverbial shoe long before now.

  53. Given all the knuckelheads in the area with Alloway guns you would think running his plates would raise a big flag!!! C’mon man connect the dots!!!

  54. serendipity says:

    Legalize drugs! Give people a place to go to do drugs! House them in a zone where they have to stay. This war on drugs is taking innocent lives…such as this trooper. Give the addicts the choice of rehab or to stay in the zone.

    Seattle is doing a pilot project on alcohol abuse under this model.

    We cannot control addiction! Again, stop the war on drugs and start the battle to save innocent lives!

    Just let addicts overdose because frankly, you cannot stop them.

  55. i guess the person who left the lol comment is just a little pathetic person who hides behind his little computer screen looking for attention just like a 6 or 7 year old little least your pos hero that killed the trooper is where he belongs.

  56. Jupiter25 says:

    Come on, everybodiesmom, NO condolences to the suspect’s family. Just look at the difference in the pictures of the suspect and the State Trooper — like night and day — a loser and a winner with a warm and great smile. The suspect was a loser, and society is better off without him. Just too bad he didn’t end it all before killing an innocent victim.

  57. psycodug says:

    I wonder if the officer had the info on blake prior to walking up to the vehicle. It says he called it in but did he get the info and still advance without another unit ?

  58. ItalianSpring says:

    Look for Blake to vote democrat this year despite him being dead and a pos.

  59. “Look for Blake to vote democrat this year despite him being dead and a pos.”

    To be more exact, he is dead and a felon. Dead people vote Democrat. Felons vote Democrat. So he gets 2 votes.
    I’m sure the pos thing and Democrat somehow jive but I haven’t figured that one out yet.

  60. God bless Trooper Tony!!!

  61. interWOLFone says:

    I would say that anyone who would seem to be justifying the murder of a State Trooper should be investigated by Law Enforcement Agencies.

  62. I didn’t see you this sunday at the church. Didn’t I tell you jesus will be sad. but now you’re with him.

    Be rest.
    we’ll miss you, Tony.

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