Mount Rainier re-opens after ranger death

Jan. 8, 2012 at 10:47 AM
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MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK, Wash., Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Rangers from around the nation helped Washington's Mount Rainier National Park re-open after the slaying of one of their own, the National Park Service said.

A number of Rainier staff members were still too shaken up to report for duty Saturday, so colleagues from other parks and local volunteers filled in as the first visitors were allowed in.

"This place is sacred to a lot of people," Scott Schissel, a Tacoma Mountain Rescue volunteer, told The (Olympia, Wash.) Olympian. "It doesn't matter if you are a climber, a hiker or just somebody who wants to visit a national park; it's pretty devastating to think something like this could happen in such a pristine and hallowed place."

What happened at Mount Rainier was the New Year's Day shooting death of Ranger Margaret Anderson by a gunman who later died of apparent exposure in the frigid park. Visitors were either locked down or evacuated during a massive manhunt for the suspect.

The Olympian said Anderson was remembered by memorials at the park entrance.

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