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A century ago, the last officer's death to stun Oregon City

Oregon City reserve officer Robert Libke’s death on Nov. 4 was the first OCPD officer killed in the line of duty in 107 years.

by: PHOTO BY: JAIME VALDEZ - Oregon City Police Officer Brian Willard wipes away a tear after balloons were released by fellow police officers for his friend, OCPD Reserve Officer Robert Libke.On April 24, 1906, Officer George Hanlon, 45, was shot and fatally wounded while trying to arrest a burglary suspect named Frank Smith. Hanlon was survived by his wife and 4-year-old son.

by: PHOTO BY: JAIME VALDEZ - Police officers release balloons in honor of Oregon City Police Reserve Officer Robert Libke before the start of the Oregon City Pioneers- McMinnville Grizzlies round 2 playoff game at Pioneer Stadium.Reprinted below are the first few sentences of the previous murder story headlined “Killed in cold blood” in the Oregon City Courier, recently digitized and added to the Historic Oregon Newspapers website through a project of the Oregon City Public Library:

“Done to death by two bullets from a thug’s revolver, Night Officer George J. Hanlon fell at his post of duty. Hanlon was taken off his guard, and had no opportunity for defense. The murderer waited calmly until the officer laid a hand on his shoulder, and drawing a revolver, fired two shots in quick succession, both penetrating the abdomen. One shot pierced the center of his body and the other entered his side, passing clear through the stomach. Either shot would have caused death. The officer met death at 3:20 o’clock Tuesday morning in an alley between the Electric Hotel and Rambo’s saloon. He was able to walk to the hotel, though in terrible pain, and sat on a bench in front of the building groaning in agony, until the arrival of a physician, who had a bed brought down from a room in the hotel, and the injured man was stretched upon it in the hotel office. He sank rapidly, and lived a little more than two hours after the shooting.”

by: PHOTO BY: JAIME VALDEZ - Patriot Guard Riders lap the track at Pioneer Stadium before Friday's playoff game in honor of Officer Robert Libke.Oregon City Library Director Maureen Cole noted that, with these digital newspapers, we can now easily find mention of people and events without resorting to the lengthy process of viewing pages of microfilm.



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