OREGON CITY, Ore. -- Mourners paid their respects Monday night to Oregon City Reserve Police Officer Robert Libke, who died after being shot in the line of duty.
On Sunday, the 41-year-old officer responded to reports of an armed man at the scene of a house fire on Linn Avenue in Oregon City. When Libke arrived at the scene, 88-year-old Lawrence Cambra opened fire on him, according to investigators.
Libke was the first Oregon City officer to die in the line of duty since 1906. He was only sworn in a few years ago.
Monday afternoon, complete strangers and old friends alike watched as hundreds of law enforcement officers escorted Libke’s body from the hospital to a Portland funeral home.
“It’s horrible,” neighbor Mindy Ashbaugh said. “It’s really sad. We live down the street from there and we wanted to pay our respects.”
“I and the department and the city are extremely proud of the job that Officer Rob Libke did yesterday,” Oregon City Police Chief Jim Band said.
“I just felt this overwhelming feeling of wanting to do something,” said Lisa Anderson, who is married to a police officer. So she set up a Facebook page and organized an impromptu vigil.
Dozens gathered at a cold, rainy Chapin Park to honor Libke and remember him as a positive influence on their lives.
"He's the best supervisor I've ever had," said coworker Jetano Demus. "Without him, I wouldn't have the job that I have. I'm very blessed to have known this man. I'm better for knowing him."
The sadness that overwhelmed the community was also evident when Oregon City Mayor Doug Neeley attempted to speak about the incident and could barely get the words out.
“We don’t normally…sorry…think this will happen,” Neeley said.
Some of those who showed up at the vigil knew Officer Libke, but most did not. All of them wanted to honor his sacrifice.
A fund has been set up at Clackamas Credit Union to help Officer Libke’s family.
KGW reporter Mike Benner contributed to this report.