Monday, January 2, 2012

National Park Ranger Murdered In The Line Of Duty

National Park Ranger Margaret Anderson was shot and killed in the line of duty yesterday morning at Mount Rainier National Park.  This senseless murder happened when a vehicle was stopped after running through a tire chain check point.

This is taken from this National Park Service Morning Report:

Mount Rainier NP
Ranger Shot And Killed By Assailant

Ranger Margaret Anderson, 34, was shot and killed on the road to Paradise
at Mount Rainier National Park on Sunday morning.  As of this time (early
on Monday), the assailant is still at large and a manhunt is underway.

The incident began when a car failed to stop at a required tire chain
checkpoint. A ranger tried to pull the car over, and, when it failed to
stop, Anderson established a road block with her vehicle.  The assailant
jumped from his car and opened fire with a shotgun, fatally wounding her.
He then fled on foot into the woods. Rangers and law enforcement officers
from various agencies responded.  The Pierce County SWAT team arrived on
scene and they, too, were fired upon while rendering aid to Anderson.

Law enforcement officers closed the park road, evacuated park visitors from
Longmire, and locked down Paradise, with all visitors in the area taking
refuge in the Jackson Visitor Center.  There were 125 park visitors and 17
park staff in the visitor center as of late on Sunday.  The visitor center
has a restaurant to provide food, restrooms and water, and law enforcement
officers are on hand to provide protection.

The search for the murderer continued into the night, with fixed wing
aircraft using forward looking infrared to scan the ground.  There are a
more than 100 officers from a variety of agencies assisting with the
manhunt for the shooter, including National Park Service, Pierce County
Sheriff, FBI, Washington State Patrol, US Forest Service, City of Enumclaw,
and Lewis County Sheriff.

Mount Rainier National Park will remain closed today.

Anderson served at Mount Rainier for four years.  She is survived by her
husband, also a park ranger at Mount Rainier, and by two young children.

Director Jarvis issued this statement early today:

“Yesterday morning, Park Ranger Margaret Anderson was shot and killed while
making a traffic stop at Mount Rainier National Park.  As I write this late
Sunday night, the murderer is still at large in the park, which has been
closed.  We are working closely with the FBI and local law enforcement to
protect visitors and staff and to track down Margaret’s killer and bring
him to justice.

“This is a heartbreaking, senseless tragedy.  Margaret was just 34 years
old. She and her husband Eric, who is also a park ranger at Mount Rainier,
have two young children.  Margaret was killed while doing her job –
protecting the visiting public on one of the park’s busiest days of the

“Last week, we mourned the death of U.S. Park Police Officer Mike Boehm,
who suffered a heart attack while responding to a serious incident in
Washington, DC.  Mike left behind a wife and a son.

“Our hearts go out to both families, and I ask you to keep them in your
thoughts and prayers in the hard days ahead.

“As updates from Rainier are available we will share them with all
employees through InsideNPS.  These losses are painful reminders of the
risks faced by National Park Service employees every day. Please be careful
out there and watch out for each other.”

My family's heartfell condolences go out to Margaret's family, friends, and co-workers

For more news coverage go to:

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