BORING, Ore. -- Friends of a weighmaster who was shot and killed Thursday spoke out today to put pressure on his killer, who is still on the run.
Grady Waxenfelter died Thursday morning as the snow and ice storms bore down on the greater Portland area. He was simply doing his job, looking for illegal trucks. Little did he know, the truck carrying firewood and missing a license plate also carried his accused killer.
The alleged gunman, Dirck White, escaped.
White's boss, Scott Keyser, does not understand why it happened.
“Nobody really had any talks with him that day. He got up to do his job and this is what happened," said Keyser.
Estacada's O'Malley Brothers hired White in November. The company yard is a mile from Waxenfelter's home. Everyone in town knew and respected the weighmaster, including White's boss.
“Grady was a big teddy bear, you know, the best way to explain him,” said Scott Keyser. “Anytime we needed help, we needed someone from the county to look at our trucks, he was right there to help us. Big heart, big kind soul, and always willing to help anybody in the area,” Keyser said.
Investigators said White has a criminal history and is also wanted on a weapons charge and for questioning about a child rape in Pierce County, Wash.
But the weighmaster couldn’t have known that and likely felt safe stopping an O’Malley Brothers truck.
“This would be the last thing in the world he would be expecting, stopping a truck to check a license plate,” said Mike Hattan, a traffic safety supervisor for Clackamas County.
Waxenfelter's co-workers said police need more tips.
“This is a bad man who needs to come off the streets and we need the public’s help,” said Robby Nashif, a Clackamas County motorcycle officer and Waxenfelter's friend.
Kevin Peterson supervised Waxenfelter and also considered him a friend. He'll never forget the dreadful call that he received while on vacation.
"A good friend of mine who works with Robby was on scene and so called me in real time and part of me wished I'd been in town. But honestly, probably wasn’t anything I could do,” he said.
O’Malley Brothers added $2500 to the $5000 offered by Clackamas County for the tip that leads to White's arrest.
If you know anything, you’re asked to call the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office at 503-723-4949.