RAINIER, Ore. — A police officer was shot in the hand by a suspect in a fight during a traffic stop on Highway 30 Monday afternoon and the shooter later took his own life.
30-year-old Christopher Elliot was reportedly driving out of control in Scappoose. Police pulled him over in the west part of Rainier and shots were fired.
Officer Russ George and his partner drove to the hospital in Longview. He’s still in the hospital recovering and is said to be in fair condition thanks to a bulletproof vest. Oregon State Police say the bullet went through Officer George’s right hand and hit him in his chest.
Authorities swarmed the area looking for the shooter and surrounded him near Clatskanie. After hearing a gunshot, Elliot was found dead near his car several hours later. He apparently shot himself.
An autopsy on the shooter’s body was done on Tuesday and confirmed that Elliot died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He’s from Waitsburg, Washington northeast of Walla Walla. He did not have a warrant and police don’t know why he shot at the officer.
The shooting happened along a stretch of the highway near Veterans Way that was named after Police Chief Ralph Painter who was shot and killed in January of 2011.