Former Yakima Police Officer Kills Ex-Wife and Girlfriend Before Dying by Suicide in Oregon

Former Yakima police officer Elias Huizar allegedly killed his ex-wife and teenage girlfriend, then died by suicide after fleeing with their 1-year-old son. This tragic incident highlights domestic violence and the need for better screening and monitoring of law enforcement officers.

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Salman Akhtar
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Former Yakima Police Officer Kills Ex-Wife and Girlfriend Before Dying by Suicide in Oregon

Former Yakima Police Officer Kills Ex-Wife and Girlfriend Before Dying by Suicide in Oregon

A former Yakima police officer, Elias Huizar, 39, is accused of killing his ex-wife, Amber Marie Rodriguez, 31, outside William Wiley Elementary School in West Richland, Washington, where she worked as a paraeducator, in front of their 9-year-old son on Monday. Huizar also allegedly killed his 17-year-old girlfriend, Angelica M. Santos, at his home nearby, before fleeing with their 1-year-old son and dying by suicide in a confrontation with police in Oregon.

After the shootings, Huizar fled with his 1-year-old son Roman Santos, prompting an Amber Alert. Oregon State Police chased Huizar, and during the pursuit, he crashed his car and exchanged gunfire with officers before shooting himself. The 1-year-old son was found safe in the vehicle.

Huizar had a history of misconduct and inappropriate behavior towards female students. He faced criminal charges, including the alleged rape of Santos when she was 15 years old and another 16-year-old girl. Days before the shooting, Rodriguez had obtained a protection order against Huizar, citing his mental health issues, harassment, and ownership of firearms.

Why this matters: This tragic incident highlights the ongoing issue of domestic violence and the need for better protection and support for victims. It also raises concerns about the screening and monitoring of law enforcement officers, especially those with a history of misconduct or inappropriate behavior.

The Richland School District had hired Huizar as an emergency substitute teacher in 2022 despite recommendations from the Yakima School District and an ongoing investigation into allegations of misconduct with a middle school student when he was a school resource officer. The community is mourning the loss of Rodriguez and Santos, with GoFundMe campaigns set up to support their families. "Amber was a loving and devoted mother who always put her children first," a family member shared. The Benton County Prosecutor's Office is still investigating the timeline of the killings, and autopsies are pending.

Key Takeaways

  • Former police officer Elias Huizar killed ex-wife Amber Rodriguez and girlfriend Angelica Santos.
  • Huizar fled with their 1-year-old son, prompting an Amber Alert, before dying by suicide.
  • Huizar had a history of misconduct and faced criminal charges, including alleged rape.
  • Richland School District hired Huizar despite misconduct allegations from his previous job.
  • Incident highlights domestic violence issues and need for better screening of law enforcement.