Officer in Oregon City house fire shooting dies

Officer in Oregon City house fire shooting dies

Credit: Ashley Korslien, KGW Staff

Officer in Oregon City house fire shooting dies

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by Jeff Thompson, KGW.com Staff

KING5.com

Posted on November 4, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 5 at 3:12 AM

OREGON CITY, Ore. -- The Oregon City police officer who was shot while responding to a house fire Sunday has died, according to Oregon City police.

Reserve officer Robert Libke was 41.

Libke had been an Oregon City Reserve Police officer since 2009. He was the first Oregon City officer to have been shot in the life of duty since April, 1906, when officer George Hanlon was killed trying to arrest a burglary suspect.

The shooting suspect, 88-year-old Lawrence Cambra of Oregon City was killed in the shooting. He was shot by SWAT officers at the scene, but his exact cause of death has not been determined.

Investigators said Libke was responding to the report of a man with a weapon outside the burning home, at 841 Linn Avenue, when he was shot around 1 p.m. A witness said Cambra admitted setting the house on fire.

Josh Wenzel said he saw Cambra near the house and said, "Hey, get out of there, the house is on fire." He said Cambra then replied, "Yeah, I know. I set the house on fire."

Investigators were working to find a motive for the fire, said Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Dan Kraus. But he said it was likely not set to purposely lure police into an ambush.

A neighbor told KGW that he saw Cambra shoot Libke in the face.

"I knew he got shot because he immediately fell,” said neighbor David Ennis. “As soon as I heard the ‘pop,’ he fell and I knew exactly what was going on."

"I heard a bunch of shots going off," said Ennis' fiancee Tamara Barlow. "And David comes back, crawling back, to the house...screaming and crying that he saw an officer shot right in front of him."

"As Reserve Officer Libke was being rescued, SWAT team members reportedly encountered the armed suspect and subsequently shot him," said CCSO Sgt. Robert Wurpes. "The suspect died at the scene."

A Life Flight helicopter rushed Libke to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center.

Several officers spent the night at the hospital with Libke, showing support for him and his family.

A fund in Libke's name has been set up at the Clackamas Federal Credit Union. Donations can be made at any branch to the Officer Libke Fund.

The two deputies involved in Cambra's shooting, Detective Sgt. Matt Swanson and Deputy Jesse Unck, were put on paid administrative leave during the investigation, which is standard protocol for this type of incident, Wurpes said.

A year ago, Cambra's wife filed for, and then withdrew, a restraining order. She said he planned to "get a gun and get rid of a few people and then himself," according to court documents from October, 2012.

Photos: Oregon City Deadly Shooting 

Below, neighbor Tim Gleason captured some of the shooting on video. The footage was posted by The Oregonian.



 

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KGW reporters Ashley Korslien and Kyle Iboshi contributed to this report.

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