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Manhunt continues for suspect in Rainier officer shooting

The hunt for a suspect involved in the shooting of a Rainier police officer continues this afternoon.

At 12:30 p.m. on June 23, a Rainier Police officer and a reserve officer performed a traffic stop on a red Kia Spectra with Washington license plates on Highway 30 near Veteran’s Way in Rainier. This was after the officers heard a report that it had been driving erratically through Columbia County. The first report came in as the vehicle traveled through Scappoose.

According to Jay Tappan, the Columbia River Fire and Rescue chief who handled media calls before the Oregon State Police took over public relations duties, the injured officer and his partner drove to PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center for treatment of the injury, which Tappan categorized as minor. Tappan told media outlets that the officer was also shot in the chest, but was not injured by that shot – he was wearing a bulletproof vest.

The Oregonian newspaper reported that the injured officer, who has not been identified, was transported via ambulance to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland around 2 p.m.

According to broadcast channel KATU 2, a red car was seen approximately 18 miles from the scene of the shooting this afternoon; active searching continues west of Clatskanie on Collins Road near the Port Westward Industrial Park , Columbia County Sheriff Jeff Dickerson told another broadcast station, KGW.

Second officer-involved shooting in four years
This is the second officer-involved shooting that the Rainier Police Deaprtment has been involved in, in less than four years. On January 5, 2011, Chief Ralph Painter was responding to a call at a local car audio shop. Painter struggled with a suspect and was shot with his own service weapon. The suspect in that case, Daniel Armaugh Butts, is in custody awaiting trial. Officer Gregg Griffith assumed the duties of chief at that time.

This is a developing story and will be updated as information becomes available.