Ore. Ranger Shoots Club-Wielding Camper


July 28, 2005, 03:31 PM
Ore. Ranger Shoots Club-Wielding Camper

By Associated Press

July 28, 2005, 3:19 PM EDT

CRATER LAKE, Ore. -- A camper brandished a club and threatened to kill two park rangers, then was shot dead by one of them, a park spokesman said Thursday.

The man encountered the rangers as they answered a call about a domestic disturbance at a campground at Crater Lake National Park after dark Wednesday, said park spokesman Mac Brock.

When the rangers tried to talk to the man, he became increasingly hostile and wandered around the campsite despite orders to stay still, Brock said.

"Still brandishing the club, still ignoring warnings to stop, he directly approached the rangers and threatened to kill them," Brock said.

When the man came within 10 feet of one of the rangers, the ranger used pepper spray, but the man didn't stop, and the second ranger shot him twice, Brock said.

The man, whose name was withheld pending notification of next of kin, was pronounced dead on the scene.

The rangers remained on duty, but were not in the field. Their names were not released.

Brock said the shooting was the first he had heard of in 12 years at the park.
Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.

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July 28, 2005, 03:39 PM
It is bound to happen. With the overcrowding of campsites today I can't believe that more people don't get thrown in jail or hurt. A lot of these campers feel that they are headed out for an adventure and then they find that they are right next to 75 other trailers, tents, or rv's and 200 new friends that smoke, drink, play loud music, stay up late, have dogs, need quarters for a shower etc...

A lost life is never good and hopefully the rangers are able to carry on after what sounds like a good shoot.

El Tejon
July 28, 2005, 03:48 PM
There was a story on NPR a few weeks ago about how violent federal parks are nowadays. Truly frightening.

Just another example of something given has no value!

July 28, 2005, 04:12 PM
as they answered a call about a domestic disturbance

Do park rangers even train for this? If this is considered part of their job desciption then I learned something new today and it sure is sad. :mad:

July 28, 2005, 04:46 PM
Do park rangers even train for this? If this is considered part of their job desciption then I learned something new today and it sure is sad.

Yeah, I think I heard the same news story (or was it an interview) that El Tejon cited. Apparently, park rangers are essentially law enforcement officers in green, and their job is absolutely not a safe one.

If there is a bright side to the article, it is that the rangers tried non-lethal tactics before resorting to firearms. So often nowadays it seems that deadly force is the first resort, rather than the last.

WR Olsen
July 28, 2005, 04:47 PM
The question was asked: "Do Park Rangers even train for this"/

Both the Park Service and the Forest Service have employees (Rangers) who are qualified LEO and are tasked with public protection. They have all the authority and responsibilty of police officers and a huge area to protect

July 28, 2005, 04:55 PM
One more reason why we should be allowed to carry CCW in national parks.

July 28, 2005, 05:03 PM
Anymore, Park Ranger can be a tough gig. They are underfunded, understaffed and stretched over some wide open spaces. Many Rangers who work the federal lands along the southern border routinely encounter drug smugglers and have taken to carrying M-16s on duty.

Dangerous Parks as of 2003 (http://www.rangerfop.com/danger03.htm)

Standing Wolf
July 28, 2005, 09:28 PM
Still brandishing the club, still ignoring warnings to stop, he directly approached the rangers and threatened to kill them...

Sounds like another poster boy for drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, and the great outdoors.

July 28, 2005, 10:31 PM
I always feel bad for the people who have to make the decision to shoot in a "good shoot" situation. I'd imagine that it would be tough to cope with.

July 28, 2005, 11:06 PM
Our NPS--the same gun laws as DC, with the SAME RESULTS.

chris in va
July 29, 2005, 04:41 AM
Good for the rangers, but I think a taser would have been the weapon of choice here since it was a club and not a firearm the guy was brandishing.

But you use what you got. :cool:

Ukraine Train
July 29, 2005, 10:30 AM
I was hiking in Green Mtn. Nat'l Forest last summer and met a ranger on the trail. He looked at the Mossberg strapped to my backpack and said, "Looks like you came prepared." I just smiled and said "Yep." That's how it should be.

July 29, 2005, 10:53 AM
Good points, cosmoline and chris in va.

What part of "shall not be infringed" don't DC and the NPS understand?

Tasers seem fairly expensive; I guess that's why the Rangers didn't have them. I wonder how effective they'd be against large, aggressive wildlife? I saw in today's newspaper that a mother out in British Columbia saved her young daughter from a mountain lion by beating it off with a food cooler...you use what you have.

July 29, 2005, 11:04 AM
Let me make sure I have this right as I always get confused.

National Park = NO carry (no handgun--concealed or not, no long gun).
National Forest = Carry handgun or long gun.

AND this varies from state to state? I believe in FL you can't carry in any park or forest area.


July 29, 2005, 11:07 AM
Due to the War on Drugs, you can lose your house/land if caught growing pot at home. So lots of guys set up their fields on public land to safeguard their other property. So when hiking alone in the backwoods of a public park and you notice some mary jane plants, just turn around and depart immediately, it ain't growing wild!!

This is a HUGE problem in Hawaii, whicih, despite the relatively small size and high population density, has some extremely remote wilderness areas where you can get into a LOT of problems, human-related or otherwise.

July 29, 2005, 12:09 PM
you are more or less right. The Parks are out of the question per Fed law (except, I believe, for two in Alaska, NOT including Denali).

The national forests, though, are covered by state law due to fed law explicitly stating as such. Many such laws are in the "hunting" sections of the statutes, and reflect concern for poaching.

For example, Virginia's laws explicitly state that loaded firearms are banned in national forest lands during the non-hunting seasons, except for concealed handguns carried with a CCW permit. Other states may allow long guns.

July 29, 2005, 01:57 PM
Yup, it's part of a totally different mindset between NPS and NFS. Forest Service emerged from the Dept. of Agriculture and has traditionally been concerned with balancing resource development and preservation. They pretty much cede to state laws across the board when it comes to what people can and can't do on DOA lands. In this sense they properly view their role as custodians not owners. So NFS lands in Alaska have the same hunting rules and follow the same GMU system as everywhere else (with some subsistance issues that may be different, but that gets too complex to discuss here).

NPS, OTOH, has long traditions as a quasi law enforcement agency and has always asserted its own set of regulations over its land, no matter what state law is. There is no hunting, no fishing, no hiking without a permit, no camping without a permit, no carrying of any firearms without special permission, etc. etc. In the old days the rangers would feed the bears to give tourists something to take pictures of. Now they don't feed them, but they acclimate the bears to very close human presence pretty much in the same way Treadwell did.

To say I hate the NPS is an understatement. I detest them, and in confrontations between drug runners and rangers there's no question who I'm rooting for. They are a foreign army occupying some of our finest wild areas. They ignore all state laws and tell locals to go to the hot place anytime a problem comes up. But the touristas love them and love to see the wildlife up close, so the federal jackboots stay in business.

July 29, 2005, 05:41 PM
Going deeper OT, but...

Last weekend I went to Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park. At the park entrance I was suprised to see a sign that said 'All firearms must be stored in a secure manner...' Typically, it is strictly 'No Firearms' at all of the other Nat'l Parks I go to.

I think Sequoia is a bit different because you have to pass through the Park entrance to get to certain National Forest land. So, maybe they cut you some slack there. Plus, it was only $10 to get in instead of $20 like at Yosemite. :cool:

On the other hand, at a trailhead in Kings Canyon, there was another sign that read 'No weapons, pets, or wheeled vehicles'. So they were still anti to some degree.

Good thing I didn't have a Model 60 in my backpack or anything.....

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