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Mt. Rainier park ranger shot to death; suspect sought

January 1, 2012 |  4:34 pm

A Mt. Rainier park ranger in Washington state was shot to death after a traffic stop Sunday and the Ranger-bloggunman remained at large, officials said. He was believed to be carrying an assault rifle. 

The National Park Service said it had closed the park indefinitely. 

"It's really not safe right now," park spokeswoman Lee Taylor told the Seattle Times. "We've got a guy on the loose with a gun and he's obviously willing to use it." 

Another park spokesman, Kevin Bacher, told the news media that the ranger was Margaret Anderson, 34, who was married and had two young children.

Bacher said the suspect had been stopped by another ranger about 10:11 a.m. but fled in his vehicle, the News Tribune of Seattle-Tacoma reported. Anderson encountered the suspect at a roadblock and was shot shortly before 11 a.m., he said.  

Taylor said Anderson had pulled her car across the road to set up the roadblock. When the suspect arrived, Taylor said, "he just jumped out and shot her."

Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff, told the Associated Press that about 100 people were hunkered down in lodges and cabins in the park and had been asked to stay put lest they get in the line of fire. 

"We do have a very hot and dangerous situation," he said.


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Photo: Ranger Margaret Anderson. Credit: Mt. Rainier National Park