Ex-cop accused of killing 2 people found with gunshot wound to head

Posted at 5:09 PM, April 23, 2024 and last updated 8:16 PM, April 23, 2024

A former Washington state police officer suspected of killing two people has been found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Oregon authorities announced on Tuesday.

Photo of Elias Huizar

Elias Huizar is accused of murdering two people and abducting a young child. (West Richland Police Department)

Authorities suspect Elias Huizar, 39, of killing two people, including his ex-wife, and abducting his son near the Washington-Oregon state line on Monday.

His 1-year-old son was found safe and is in the custody of Oregon’s state patrol. Authorities were unable to provide information regarding Elias Huizar’s condition.

Police identified Huizar as a person of interest after officers responded to a shooting at Wiley Elementary School just before 3:30 p.m. on Monday as students were being released for the day and found a woman dead outside.

The woman was later identified as Huizar’s ex-wife, Amber Rodriguez, who was an employee at the school, officials said.

Wiley Elementary and other schools in the Richland School District were temporarily put on lockdown. Wiley canceled classes for Tuesday but officials said school will resume Wednesday, according to a notice on its website.

Later Monday evening, police said officers went to execute a search warrant at Huizar’s home and discovered another person, described as a “known associate of the suspect,” had been killed.

The second victim’s identity was not released, but the Amber Alert stated Huizar is suspected of killing his ex-wife and girlfriend.

The Tri-City Herald reported that before the killings and abduction on Monday, Huizar was under investigation for allegedly raping a friend of his teenage girlfriend and was out on bond after being charged in February. Court documents stated the girlfriend is Roman Huizar’s mother, the Tri-City Herald reported.

Benton County Prosecutor Eric Eisinger said Huizar had been charged with rape of a child in the second and third degree. Now, he is wanted for first-degree premeditated murder in connection to Rodriguez’s death.

Huizar’s ex-wife had recently filed for a protection order and change of custody for their two sons, ages 5 and 9, the Tri-City Herald reported from court documents.

When Huizar was previously arrested for the rape charge, the city of Yakima released a statement that said he was an employee there until February 2022. The statement did not say why Huizar left.

Officials with the Richland School District said Tuesday that Huizar was formerly a school resource officer at a neighboring school district and had worked at Richland schools as a substitute teacher up until June 2023.

This story was originally written by Taylor O’Bier for Scripps News, an E.W. Scripps Company.