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Two Rangers Shot at Oregon St. Park

April 28, 1999

MANZANITA, Ore. (AP) _ Two park rangers were confronted by a gunman who marched the men into dense forest before shooting them in the head, authorities said.

Ranger Danny Blumenthal, 50, died in the attack Tuesday at Oswald West State Park. John ``Jack″ Kerwin, 51, suffered two shots to the jaw, but survived in fair condition.

About an hour after the shooting, Oregon state police took Larry C. Cole, 52, into custody for questioning. Cole, who was not charged, was arrested after leading police on a high-speed chase in Blumenthal’s truck, officials said.

The rangers were doing routine maintenance early Tuesday when one of them went to inspect a bathroom at the oceanside park about 65 miles west of Portland, authorities said.

He emerged with the assailant holding him at gunpoint. Both rangers were then marched about 400 yards along a trail into the dense forest, where the gunman tried to tie them up. Apparently frustrated by his efforts, he shot both in the head, officials said.

Blumenthal died on the trail, while Kerwin lay motionless on the ground, playing dead, despite the shots that splintered his jawbone.

Police said they were looking for a second man and another vehicle that may have been in the park at the time.

Bob Meinen, the state’s parks director, said rangers are responsible for law enforcement but do not carry guns. ``Generally we haven’t felt that we need them,″ he said.

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