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Two Rangers Shot at Oregon St. Park

April 28, 1999

MANZANITA, Ore. (AP) _ An unarmed ranger was killed and another shot in the face Tuesday in a rugged coastal park. One man was arrested after leading police on a high-speed chase in the slain ranger’s truck.

Police searched Tuesday night for a second man who may have been in the park with Larry G. Cole, 52, who was arrested when the truck skidded into a gravel pit at the end of a logging road.

A motive for the shooting wasn’t immediately known.

The rangers at Oswald West State Park on the Oregon coast were confronted when they stopped to inspect a bathroom in the closed park, police said. The gunman emerged from the restroom with one ranger and forced both rangers to walk up a trail, where he shot them, investigators said.

The slain ranger was identified as Danny Blumenthal, 50. The second ranger, 51-year-old John Kerwin, was shot twice in the jaw and was in fair condition.

Kerwin hiked out of the park and flagged down a motorist, who drove him to a fire station, police said.

``He fell to the ground and played dead after he was shot,″ said Shelly Solum, an ambulance service spokeswoman.

Blumenthal’s pickup was stolen.

Bob Meinen, the state’s parks director, said rangers don’t carry guns.

``Generally we haven’t felt that we need them,″ he said.

The park 65 miles west of Portland is popular with surfers. It has overnight camping overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

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