Ex-officer accused of killing ex-wife and girlfriend killed himself after chase, and his missing son is safe, police say

A former school resource officer in Washington state accused of killing his ex-wife and his girlfriend and kidnapping his 1-year-old son died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a vehicle chase by police in Oregon on Tuesday – and the child is safe in police care – authorities said.

Oregon State Police troopers began pursuing Elias Huizar after they saw a car he was driving on Interstate 5 near Eugene, Oregon, around 2:40 p.m. local time, Oregon State Police Capt. Kyle Kennedy said.

“There was a minor collision (on the highway), and the suspect vehicle lost control. There was an exchange of gunfire at this location before the suspect vehicle fled again … on the interstate,” Kennedy said. No one is known to be injured from that gunfire, he said.

Huizar’s vehicle eventually crashed into another vehicle, spun into a median and became immobile, Kennedy said.

“As troopers contacted the suspect vehicle, the suspect died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Kennedy said.

The 1-year-old boy, Roman Santos, for whom Washington state authorities had earlier issued an Amber Alert on the belief that Huizar had abducted him, was in the vehicle uninjured, Kennedy said. Officers safely removed him, and he was put in the care of Oregon authorities, police said.

Washington state authorities had initially said the boy’s name was Roman Huizar, through the Amber Alert.

A manhunt for Elias Huizar began Monday after his ex-wife was shot and killed that afternoon outside a school in West Richland, Washington, authorities said.

The ex-wife, Amber Marie Rodriguez was shot Monday outside William Wiley Elementary School, and Huizar eventually was charged in her death, Benton County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Eisinger said in a news conference Tuesday. Huizar’s ex-wife is listed as a paraeducator at the elementary school, according to a staff directory.

A second homicide victim was found Monday inside Huizar’s home while authorities were carrying out a search warrant, West Richmond police said. The second victim was a known associate of the suspect, police said, without naming the person or further elaborating.

In an Amber Alert issued for the child, the Washington State Patrol said Huizar was suspected of killing “his ex-wife and girlfriend.”

The child is Huizar’s son that he had with his girlfriend, Eisinger said Tuesday.

Huizar was “possibly headed to Mexico,” the Washington State Patrol said in the Amber Alert for the child.

Roman Santos. - West Richland Police Department
Roman Santos. - West Richland Police Department

Jail records show Huizar was charged with second-degree rape in February. He was released on a $200,000 bond, according to the Tri-City Herald. CNN has sought details from the Benton County prosecuting attorney’s office.

At the time of the arrest, the city of Yakima said Huizar had been an employee there until February 2022, but didn’t say why he left.

Facebook posts from the Yakima Police Department show Huizar joined the department in December 2014 and began serving as a school resource officer in 2018.

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