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Forest Service Ranger Shot and Killed at National Park, Suspect Still At Large


A sheriff's office in Washington state tells the Associated Press that a U.S. Forest Service ranger has been shot at Mount Rainier National Park.

According to KATU, 34-year-old park ranger Margaret Anderson was fatally shot following a traffic stop in the 368-square-mile park Sunday.

"At around 10:20 a.m. Sunday, another park service employee had tried to stop a man in his vehicle. He didn't stop, so Anderson set up a road block with her vehicle in the middle of the road, said park spokeswoman Lee Taylor. The man pulled up to Anderson about 11 a.m., jumped out, fired and ran off, she said.

Troyer said when authorities arrived they were also shot at, but no one else was hit."

Anderson died from her injuries. Officials closed the park after the shooting, and KATU reports that investigators are searching for 24-year-old Benjamin Colton Barnes, a "strong person of interest." Investigators recovered a car in the park filled with weapons, body armor and survivalist gear, but would not yet say to KATU whether the car belongs to Barnes.

The News Tribune reports that the shooting happened just before 11 a.m. near the Longmire Ranger Station. The Tribune writes that Anderson is married to a fellow park ranger an has two daughters, who are approximately 2 and 4.

"She loved people and she loved being outside," Paul Kritsch, Anderson's father, told KOMO News Radio.


Pierce County Sheriff's Department Detective Ed Troyer tells The Tribune that more than 100 law enforcement personnel from agencies including Pierce County Sheriff's Department, the FBI, Washington State Patrol, U.S. Forest Service and other local police agencies are at the park searching for the suspect.

Authorities tell KATU that the suspect is still in the woods with an assault rifle.

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