November 3, 2013 in Region

Sheriff: Oregon officer shot responding to fire

Associated Press
 

OREGON CITY, Ore. — A man suspected of shooting a police officer who responded to a fire at his home was later found dead, authorities said today.

The officer, whose identity was withheld, was shot responding to the house fire at about 1 p.m. Sunday. The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release this evening that he was flown to a hospital and that it was not releasing any information about his condition.

Police had received reports of a man with a handgun in the area of the fire, the release said, forcing firefighters to wait nearby rather than immediately confront the blaze. The sheriff’s special weapons and tactics team, comprising officers from several local agencies, found the suspect and confronted him.

Shots were fired, and the suspect was found dead, though how he died remains under investigation, the sheriff’s office said.

“The fire at the home continues to smolder, further delaying the completion of the investigation,” the release said.

Authorities asked people to stay out of the area and said investigators expected to remain at the scene until late Monday.

Mark and Molly Hansen told KGW-TV that their son saw the suspect on the porch of the burning home. When their son told the man his home was on fire, he responded that he had set it, they said.

The suspect then reportedly shot the arriving officer in the middle of the street, and neighbors ran into their homes.

Police evacuated the neighborhood and closed streets before dozens of officers moved in on the home. Another Portland television station, KATU, reported that several shots were fired around 2:45 p.m., shortly before the sheriff’s office reported that the suspect was dead.

Families were later seen being escorted back to their homes.

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