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Jan-05-2011 15:27TweetFollow @OregonNews
Rainier, Oregon Police Chief Dies in ShootingTim King Salem-News.com
Deadly shooting that began at a car stereo shop left Rainier's police chief dead.
(RAINIER, Ore.) - The Police Chief in Rainier, Oregon, Ralph Painter; was shot and killed with his own police service weapon after responding to a reported burglary in progress call at a car stereo store.
After arriving on the scene at approximately 10:45 a.m., a struggle ensued between the chief and the suspect. Ralph Painter was disarmed and fatally shot.
The Police Chief of Rainier, Oregon, Ralph Painter, 55, died in a shooting today. The community in Rainier is shocked; Ralph Painter had many friends and associates in the NW and was highly respected in his role as the city's top lawman.
It happened in a small shopping complex in Rainier where a report had summoned officer response to a car audio shop.
The story emerged slowly at first. For the first several hours media outlets reported that a police officer in Rainier had been killed. It didn't become apparent for some time that the victim had been Chief Painter.
About 25 officers responded to the scene from Rainier and Longview. They were not sure at first how many suspects were involved.
Jeff McCracken is a senior church pastor with Rainier Assemblies of God. He told the Oregonian that he was in his office this morning,"When a few police cars began arriving. One or two we wouldn't have noticed, but there were a lot."
Later the pastor would nearly be shot by a random bullet, as he and his staff ultimately had a better view of the man involved in the shootout than the officers themselves.
McCracken noted that police were carrying assault rifles. This is a standard procedure in the new century; otherwise police are easily outgunned by criminals when equipped only with their standard police weapons.
Traci Trumble with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission in Rainier, said she first saw a man walk by her business with a gun drawn. The next thing she know shots rang out, as many as 8.
Ralph Painter had many friends and they are just absorbing the news. One person he has known many years told Salem-News.com today, "Ralph always cared about people. He was the most unassuming police officer I ever met. Always made sure the food bank in Rainier was remembered when it needed more food donations for clients."
This same acquaintance said, "Rainier is more like a big extended family, than just a little 'town' along the Columbia. I like many friends and neighbors spoke or waved back & forth with Ralph nearly everyday.......and have so many memories of Ralph's kindness and gentle smile."
The suspect, whose name has not yet been released, engaged other responding officers in a shootout before being wounded and taken into custody.
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