Yakima, WA - Pierce County Sheriff's Deputy Kory Shaffer took his life Friday, May 12, while out of town working a case with his partner, according to The News Tribune.
In a statement Pierce County Sheriff's Department PIO, Detective Ed Troyer, he said that Deputy Shaffer, age 47, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He said that “Department members are with Deputy Shaffer’s family at this incredibly difficult time, and we also have department members in Yakima to assist there as well."
Deputy Shaffer died in a room at the Hilton Garden Inn on Yakima Avenue. "He was in a room with his partner, and from what I understand he went into the bathroom and shot himself," Yakima County Coroner Jack Hawkins told KOMO News.
When King 5 asked Detective Troyer if it was stress from the job that resulted in this hero taking his life, he said that they didn't think so, but they are looking into it.
"Kory was part of a high intensity unit that was involved in extremely high intensity calls. In fact, he'd been involved in a couple of calls in the last few months that most people don't even go through once in their entire career. He was the type of guy that could handle that, same with the rest of his unit. So we don't think that was it, but that's something we're looking into,"
He also said "Everybody’s just in total shock. He was one of the most stable guys we know." There were no signs that Deputy Shaffer was in emotional distress.
Deputy Kory Shaffer was a 17-year veteran of the Pierce County Sheriff's Office. In 2007, he was named Officer of the Year for his work in investigating meth labs.
He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor said:
“This is a hard loss for our department and for the community. It is a sad reminder that besides facing physical dangers, our people and other first responders also face a wide and difficult array of emotional and spiritual dangers. I thank the community and the other departments in the region for their kindness and support.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Pierce County Deputy Kory Shaffer, both blood and blue. Godspeed, sir, we will take the watch from here.