Medical examiner: Oregon City gunman committed suicide - KPTV - FOX 12

Medical examiner: Oregon City gunman committed suicide

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Lawrence Cambra, 88, committed suicide, a medical examiner says. Lawrence Cambra, 88, committed suicide, a medical examiner says.
Officer Robert Libke Officer Robert Libke
The home on Linn Avenue is nothing but a pile of rubble after Sunday's house fire. The home on Linn Avenue is nothing but a pile of rubble after Sunday's house fire.

The reserve police officer shot and killed in Oregon City will receive the Medal of Ultimate Sacrifice from the state of Oregon.

The Governor's Commission on the Law Enforcement Medal of Honor called an emergency meeting Tuesday to consider a recommendation of the award for Robert Libke.

He was shot and killed by Lawrence Cambra, 88, outside a burning Oregon City home Sunday. The commission voted unanimously to award him the honor.

On Tuesday, the medical examiner's office ruled Cambra died of a gunshot wound to the chest. Earlier information from the sheriff's office suggested Cambra died of gunshots fired by a SWAT team, but the medical examiner said it was a suicide.

Clackamas County deputies said Cambra confronted and shot Libke on Sunday afternoon as Libke tried to secure the scene at Cambra's burning home on Linn Avenue.

More officers and a SWAT team then rushed to the scene as part of a massive police response. Eventually, a SWAT team moved in and took Libke's body to a waiting ambulance. He was then rushed to a hospital by a LifeFlight helicopter.

A medical examiner confirmed Libke's death Monday afternoon.

Neighbors said Cambra was a problem for years and even threatened to shoot people who came on his property.

A year ago, his girlfriend filed a restraining order against him, according to court records. The order stated, "He was going to get a gun and get rid of a few people and then himself."

Just two weeks after filing it, however, the woman dismissed the order and moved back in with Cambra.

"He wasn't a very nice man, ever," said neighbor Pam Laird.

Another neighbor said she never thought he would go this far.

"It was always a lot of threats," said Dianne Nelson. "But it was never really anything we thought that could come of it until yesterday."

A sheriff's spokesman described the current investigation as a massive three-part effort. The ATF, Oregon State Police and Clackamas Fire District are investigating the fire, which is believed to have been set intentionally.

The other two parts of the investigation - the shootings of Libke and of Cambra - are being led by the Clackamas County Major Crimes Team.

Libke's neighbors said he made significant contributions to the area by starting a neighborhood watch program after homes were hit by burglars.

"He was very genuine and was a great neighbor to all of us," said Sandy Smith, who lives on his block. "He brought us out of our comfort area and made us watch out for each other."

Neighbors also said Libke's wife is pregnant and they pledged to help her in any way they can. They said she has family in the area.

Libke, a graduate of Marshall High School in Portland, had worked at Evraz Steel in Portland since 1997. He was most recently a general supervisor for the company.

"Rob is the guy who would come into a room and just brighten it up," said Evraz North America Vice President and General Manager Bruce Iredale.

"He was always positive, and the kind of guy that wanted to help people and make them better. I think that's the reason he was such a good reserve police officer, he was always looking to help people."

"My employees are taking his death pretty hard. Rob was well liked, well respected and a lot of people are close with him.  There's a number of people having a real rough time with this," said Iredale.

Mayor Doug Neeley, fighting back tears, said Libke was always there when called upon.

"We want to thank all the police officers for their services and all the risks they take on a daily basis," he said.

Libke was the first Oregon City police officer shot in the line of duty in more than 100 years. The last shooting occurred in April 1906, when Officer George Hanlon was shot and killed while trying to arrest a burglary suspect.

Anyone wishing to help Libke's family can donate at any branch of the Clackamas Federal Credit Union to the "Officer Libke Fund." Donations can also be mailed to the Clackamas County Peace Officers' Benevolent Foundation at P.O. Box 426, Oregon City, OR 97045, with checks payable to CCPOBF and the words Officer Robert Libke Fund in the memo line. More information is available at

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