WSP - For his actions and professionalism in dealing with a very tense, very dangerous situation involving a suspect who had already killed six people, Washington State Patrol Trooper Edward D. Collins has been selected as the regional nominee for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Trooper of the Year for 2008.
Trooper Collins was nominated for this award for his heroic actions on September 2, 2008, when he created a safety buffer by placing himself between a very dangerous individual and citizens driving on Interstate 5.
In the incident Trooper Collins heard on his police radio Mr. Isaac Zamora was a suspect in the shooting of several citizens in the Silver Creek Road area of Skagit County. The information Trooper Collins received indicated Zamora was seen driving a silver pick-up southbound on Interstate 5. Trooper Collins observed the pickup, crossed the median, and turned to follow Zamora. Trooper Collins did not know Zamora had just shot and killed his sixth victim; a driver who was shot at random on the freeway.
Once behind Zamora Trooper Collins, driving an unmarked Chevrolet Impala patrol vehicle, realized the seriousness of the situation and only turned on his rear flashing lights. He blocked traffic behind him to create a buffer zone without alerting Zamora to his actions.
Trooper Collins requested assistance from other troopers who were converging on the situation. Trooper Collins watched as a fellow trooper who was attempting to get close to Zamora’s vehicle was shot. This trooper was struck in the arm and drove himself to the hospital.
Trooper Collins, joined by several other troopers, pursued Zamora southbound until Zamora was taken into custody at the Skagit County Sheriff’s office without further incident. Trooper Collins continued to display a high level of professionalism throughout this process, while under intense public and media scrutiny.
This is not the first time a WSP Trooper has been nominated for this prestigious award. In 2007 the IACP Trooper of the Year was awarded to WSP Trooper Kelly Kalmbach.
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