Suspect in Rainier police shooting identified

Credit: Pat Dooris, KGW Staff

Suspect in Rainier police shooting identified

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by Teresa Blackman, KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on June 24, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 25 at 3:12 AM

RAINIER, Ore. -- Police have identified the suspect the Monday shooting of a Rainier officer.

Investigators said Christopher Elliott, 30, of Waitsburg, Washington shot the officer and then later killed himself. An autopsy confirmed that Elliott died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head, according to Lt. Gregg Hastings with Oregon State Police.

The shooting occurred just after noon, during a traffic stop on Highway 30 near Veterans Way.

More: Details of police shooting, manhunt

Rainier police officer Russ George, 45, had pulled Elliott over for erratic driving and was shot as he approached his car, Hastings said.

"As Officer George approached the vehicle, Elliott shot the officer in his right hand. The bullet traveled through his hand and struck him in the chest, which was protected by a ballistic vest," Hastings explained.

The suspect fled after the shooting, sparking a manhunt by land and air. A SWAT team found Elliott's body hours later, in tall grass about a quarter mile from where his vehicle had been abandoned.

Hastings said a handgun was found near Elliott's body. Elliott did not have any outstanding warrants and investigators have not yet found a motive for the officer shooting.

Officer George remains in fair condition at Legacy Emanuel Hospital. He was accompanied by a reserve officer on patrol when the gunfire broke out. That officer was not hurt and his name has not been released.

George (pictured at right) started his law enforcement career with the Rainier Police Department as a Reserve Officer in February 1993. He was hired as a full-time police officer in July 1995 until leaving the Department in October 2001. Since that time he worked for the Scappoose Police Department and Columbia County Sheriff's Office, before returning to Rainier in January 2013.

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