A former Oak Harbor man and Navy aviation electronics technician at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island was killed protecting his family at their home near Kalamazoo, Mich. on Dec. 1.
Three officers were also shot when they responded.
Christopher Ryan Neal, 22, was home with his wife and young daughter when an intruder broke in. His wife took the child upstairs and they hid while Neal confronted the intruder, according to a WOOD-TV news report.
The home invasion escalated into a hostage situation, which ended when Neal was shot and the police rushed in to help.
The intruder, later identified as career criminal William P. Jones, shot three of the officers and was caught trying to escape, according to a WKZO radio report.
The officers are expected to recover from their wounds. The woman and child were not injured.
Jones was charged with 19 criminal counts, including murder, kidnapping, attempted murder and home invasion.
Neal and his family moved to Michigan from Oak Harbor last month after he got a job at an aviation company. He had served with VP-40 at NAS Whidbey and then became a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Koetje Real Estate in Oak Harbor, according to his Linkedin page.
His obituary states that Neal grew up in Texas and joined the Navy after high school in order to see the world. He was a car enthusiast, a loved to snowboard but, most of all, was dedicated to his family.
“Chris will be remembered for his kind heart, his thirst for life, and his sincere devotion to those he loved,” his obituary states.
Memorial contributions may be made through www.Fundly.com towards Condolences for the Family of Christopher Neal.