SoCal Chris sends: I thought you’d be sad to hear of this story especially, if you haven’t already. I know it’s not political per se, but I just want to gain more support for the family and fellow officers. This has hit the community really hard. This man was REALLY well-liked and I believe his wife just had a baby.
Here’s a link to the local t.v. news story, and a link below to a Facebook page that has been started on Officer Robert Ribke’s behalf. It appears so far that the perp (who was killed by SWAT, thank God) sabotaged the first responders by starting a house fire. REALLY makes me sad and very mad.
Thanks, SoCal Chris
The community is mourning an Oregon City reserve police officer who was shot and killed at a burning home Sunday.
Robert Libke, who had been with the department since 2009, was 41 years old.
Libke and a regular Oregon City officer responded to 841 Linn Ave. at 1 p.m. on Sunday after getting reports of an armed man at a house on fire.
The armed man, who deputies have since identified as 88-year-old Lawrence Cambra, confronted Libke and shot him, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said.
Officers and a SWAT team then rushed to the scene in what was described as a “massive police response.” Neighboring homes were evacuated, and firefighters also left the area until SWAT could move in. Other neighbors were informed via reverse 911 to stay in their homes.
A woman who lives nearby said Cambra tried to break into her home.
“He pounded on the house, on my back door, and thank God I had it locked,” said neighbor Pam Laird.
While rescuing Libke, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s SWAT team encountered Cambra and shot him, deputies said. Cambra died at the scene.
Meanwhile, a LifeFlight helicopter rushed Libke to a Portland hospital. A medical examiner confirmed his death Monday afternoon.
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.
Sgt. Robert Wurpes, of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, said the news of one of their own being shot is weighing heavy on officers’ hearts as they carry out the investigation.
“At the same time you are dealing with the shock and emotion of an officer being shot, a fellow worker being shot, we’ve got to get to work. There are things we need to do. It’s difficult,” he said.
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,” Laird said.
Another neighbor said they 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.”
The community is remembering the fallen officer far more fondly. Police, firefighters and community members lined highway overpasses for Libke’s procession Monday evening, as his body was taken from Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland to Lincoln Memorial Park Funeral Home in southeast Portland.
Several of his neighbors watched the procession from the Holgate Boulevard overpass – just a few blocks from Libke’s southeast Portland home.
Neighbors said he made significant contributions to their area by starting a neighborhood watch program after some 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 said Libke’s wife is pregnant and have pledged to help her in any way they can. They also said she has family in the area.