Neighbors: Man who killed officer picked fights


| Zoom

OREGON CITY, Ore. (AP) - The 88-year-old man who fatally shot an Oregon police officer over the weekend before taking his own life had a reputation for quarrels and a record of domestic disputes.

Residents of the Oregon City trailer park where Lawrence Cambra lived for 17 years told The Oregonian ( http://bit.ly/1a44SJc) he picked fights with neighbors, threatened to shoot them, and killed his own homing pigeons after someone complained about them.

Cambra's 70-year-old girlfriend got a restraining order against him last year after reporting that he warned her to "watch her back," the newspaper reported. She also said Cambra threatened to get a gun and "get rid of some people and himself."

On Sunday, authorities said, the girlfriend fled after a confrontation with Cambra, who later set the couple's house on fire.

After reserve officer Robert Libke arrived at the burning house, Cambra shot him in the face.

Members of a Clackamas County sheriff's office SWAT team were called to the scene.

Initially, authorities said the SWAT team killed Cambra. But an autopsy later showed Cambra killed himself with a single gunshot to the chest, sheriff's officials said Tuesday.

They declined to say whether any SWAT team bullets actually hit Cambra.

Investigators say it's still unclear what caused Cambra's behavior.

Cambra and his girlfriend, Joyce Ruby Eileen Smith, met while Cambra was living at the assisted living facility where Smith worked in Oregon City, south of Portland. They began living together in 2006 and bought the house where Cambra killed himself.

Records show a conflict among the pair began to escalate last year.

In October 2012, when the couple was on the verge of separating, police were called to the residence at least 10 times. Cambra also sought out Smith at her workplace and threatened her, The Oregonian reported.

After Smith got the restraining order, Cambra was jailed for violating it. But Smith declined to prosecute, and the order was dropped last November, according to the newspaper.

Cambra moved from California to the Maplelane Estates trailer park in Oregon City in 1988. He was retired and identified himself on the rental application as a former federal government employee.

___

Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Stories

  • Warm Fall, Winter
    Forecasters predict a warmer fall and winter than normal

  • What Was That?
    Reports continue streaming in after a fireball streaked across our skies

  • Lost Control
    Danny O'Neil takes a look at what the loss to the Chargers means for the Seahawks
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.