Oregon Officer Shot; Suspect Dead at House Fire Stand-off

 

A suspect is dead, a police officer was rushed to the hospital with a gunshot wound and a house burned to the ground today following a fire Sunday afternoon in Oregon City. 

Oregon City Police and Clackamas Fire District responded to a fully involved house fire in the 800 block of Linn Ave. shortly after 1 p.m. The report indicated that a person at the scene was carrying a handgun. 

An Oregon City police officer was shot while in the area, Brandon Paxton, a spokesman with Clackamas Fire District said. The officer was later taken by LifeFlight Helicopter to Legacy Emmanuel Medical Center in Portland. Authorities have not released the officer's name, and they would not release his condition. 

At some point, the suspect fled to a nearby house, authorities said.

Initially, a half dozen Oregon City police officers responded to the call. Two Clackamas County SWAT units and officers from Lake Oswego, Canby, Milwaukie and West Linn and other police jurisdictions also responded. 

"When there's a code 0, every officer in the vicinity comes running," said West Linn Sgt. Neil Hennelly. 

The SWAT team members found and confronted the subject and shots were fired, authorities said in a press release. 

Clackamas County Sheriff's Sgt. Dan Kraus confirmed that the suspect died. Authorities said they were still investigating the cause of death and declined release the suspect's name.

No one else was injured, authorities said.

Firefighters initially held back from fighting the house fire because of the report of an armed occupant, Paxton said. The home eventually burned to the ground. Firefighters are now investigating the fire as a possible arson. 

 

Sgt. Robert Wurpes discusses Oregon City officer shootingSgt. Robert Wurpes, with the Clackamas County Sheriff's Department, and Brandon Paxton, with Clackamas County Fire, discuss what led to the shooting of an unknown Oregon City police officer.

Police had roped off areas of the neighborhood as they searched for the suspect. People were also evacuated from the area.

 

Authorities said the situation has stabilized but that detectives were continuing to interview witnesses. They asked that the public avoid the area of Linn and Holmes streets.

Law enforcement also were seriously concerned about the fate of the officer who'd been shot. A significant number of peer support officers were called in to support fellow Oregon City police, and officers went to the hospital where he was taken.

"It's somber," Clackamas County Sheriff's Sgt. Robert Wurpes said of the mood at the scene. "We're concerned. We are a community. We're coming together to support our fellow officers."

Records show a man associated with the address of the fire - Lawrence Cambra - was involved in a domestic dispute and a firearm restriction a year ago. 

In October 2012, Joyce R. Smith, 70, filed for a restraining order against Cambra, 88, Clackamas County Circuit Court records show. Judge Kenneth Stewart granted a restraining order and signed a gun restriction against Cambra. But on Nov. 5, 2012, Stewart dismissed the order, records show. 

Smith, reached by phone Sunday night, declined comment. 

The two former owners of the home said they believe the man involved is the person they sold the one-story residence to in 2007, though neither could recall the man's name.

Ryan Campbell said the man was "at least in his 70s" and that his former neighbors on Linn Avenue have told him the man wasn't always cordial.

"I've heard he's given them nothing but trouble for a while," said Campbell, 45, of Fairview.

Ryan Campbell said his ex-wife, Kara Campbell, told him earlier in the afternoon about the incident at their former home.

"I'm still just in shock," he said. "I have a lot of memories in that home and for it to now be associated with something like this is pretty surreal."

Kara Campbell said neighbors have described the man to her as "very unstable," and that there were "a lot of parking and driveway disputes that got quite serious."

"I drove through the area about a year ago, saw our home and it didn't look much different from when we left it," said Kara Campbell, 44, of Portland. "Now we're hearing that it's gone. It just hits a little too close to home."

-- Brent Hunsberger. Everton Baliey, Laura Frazier, Jeff Baker, JoLene Krawczak and Tom Wolfe contributed.

 

 

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