Lake Oswego police respond to the fire and gunshots

Oregon City police reserve officer Robert Libke died Monday after being shot in the face during a Sunday afternoon confrontation with a man at a burning house at which police from West Linn and Lake Oswego also responded. by: COURTESY OF OCPD - Oregon City Reserve Officer Robert Libke died Monday after being shot by a man Sunday afternoon while protecting firefighters who were trying to put out a house fire.

Libke, 41, had with the Oregon City Police Department since 2009. Oregon City Police Chief James Band announced Libke’s death Monday afternoon. His body was escorted at about 4 p.m. from Legacy Emanuel Medical Center to Lincoln Memorial Park Funeral Home. Funeral arrangements were pending as of press time.

Early in the day, police identified the shooting suspect as 88-year-old Lawrence Cambra of Oregon City. He was killed at the scene.

Police said that shortly after 1 p.m. on Sunday a fire was reported at 841 Linn Ave. in Oregon City. During the initial dispatch, a report was broadcast of an armed male at the fire scene.

Oregon City police and Clackamas Fire District 1 crews were dispatched, with police sent to deal with the reportedly armed person at the burning house.

Libke and another Oregon City officer were the first to arrive, and Libke was confronted by Cambra, who shot the reserve officer.

by: OREGON CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT - Lawrence CambraAfter the shooting, responding police units established a perimeter around the building. Fire personnel were evacuated. Residents immediately surrounding the fire were also evacuated from their homes.

Members of the Clackamas County SWAT team secured the area as Libke was taken by Life Flight to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland for treatment of a gunshot wound.

As Libke was being rescued, SWAT team members reportedly encountered the armed suspect and shot him.

The Oregon City Police Department Reserve Unit was established to supplement and assist patrol officers in their duties. The unit provides professional, sworn volunteer reserve officers who can augment regular staffing levels. The reserve unit has traditionally consisted of about 10 officers who volunteer their time.

Investigations begin

This is the first Oregon City police officer shot in the line of duty in 107 years. In April 1906, Officer George Hanlon was shot and fatally wounded while trying to arrest a burglary suspect named Frank Smith.

The two deputies involved in the shooting of Cambra are Det. Sgt. Matt Swanson and Deputy Jesse Unck, both SWAT members. Swanson has been with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office for 13 1/2 years. Unck has been with the department for four years. Both are on paid administrative leave during an investigation, which is standard protocol.

Oregon City police said the investigation into the shooting would involve three components: the fire, an investigation into Libke’s shooting and the use of force by members of the SWAT unit.

Oregon State Police and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the fire marshal of the Clackamas Fire District 1 are investigating the fire. Initial statements from witnesses lead investigators to believe that this fire was set intentionally. The fire investigation was expected to take up to 48 hours.

The other two investigations are being conducted by the Clackamas County Major Crimes Team, which is led by the county district attorney’s office.

Investigators are from the Oregon State Police, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Portland FBI field office, Clackamas County’s Interagency Task Force and representatives from police departments in Oregon City, Happy Valley, Gladstone, Canby, Molalla, Sandy, West Linn and Milwaukie.

Anyone wishing to assist Libke’s family can donate at any branch of the Clackamas Federal Credit Union to the “Officer Libke Fund.”

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