RAINIER, Ore. -- An 18-mile stretch of Highway 30 was dedicated Monday to the former police chief killed in the line of duty early this year.
Ralph Painter was shot to death on January 5th after responding to a disturbance call at a local business.
Background: Rainier police chief shot to death
Now, the stretch of Highway 30 bears his name. A sign dedicated the roadway to Painter was posted at each end.
Monday morning, Painter s widow, Amy and young son, Riley, gathered along the highway to mark the official unveiling.
Painter grew up in St. Helens and then moved to Rainier where he eventually became the chief of police.
Amy Painter said the highway meant a lot to her husband and it was a fitting tribute.
He would be very humbled by it, she said. He didn t think of himself as a hero.
But a lot of people do think of Painter as a hero and his death remains a painful memory for the community.
Amy said her husband was a normal, every-day kind of guy and that the support her family has received from the community has helped them a great deal.
The suspect in the deadly shooting, Daniel Butts, 21, was recently sent to the Oregon State Hospital for a mental evaluation as part of his ongoing case. Butts is accused of wrestling a gun away fromPainter and then fatally shooting him.