Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy has directed that all flags in Pierce County be lowered to half-staff until further notice in honor of Margaret Anderson, the Mount Rainier National Park ranger who was killed in the line of duty last week. Other government entities, citizens and businesses are encouraged to join this recognition. ”Our thoughts and prayers are with the Anderson family, the National Park staff and the entire community,” Executive McCarthy said.
An intensive manhunt on Mount Rainier for the suspect who fatally shot Park Ranger Margaret Anderson January 1 came to an end on Monday. An aircraft spotted a body lying face down in the vicinity of Narada Falls. Searchers on the ground traversed challenging terrain to reach the subject and confirmed his identity as Benjamin Colton Barnes, the suspect in the shooting. Officials confirm that Barnes was found dead.
The park will reopen to the public on Sat., Jan. 7.
On the morning of Jan. 1, Park Ranger Anderson set up a traffic block to intercept a vehicle that had failed to stop at a chain-up checkpoint.The driver opened fire on Ranger Anderson, killing her, and then fled on foot into the woods. Anderson, 34, had worked at Mount Rainier for 3 years. She is survived by her husband Eric, also a ranger in the park, and two young children.
Plans for a memorial service next week are underway with the date to be determined. The family is requesting donations to the Margaret Anderson Fund at Key Bank in lieu of flowers. Donations should be sent to KeyBank, P.O. Box 159, Eatonville, WA 98328. Checks should be made out to Margaret Anderson Donation Account.