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Man Kills Camper, Takes Another Hostage Before Being Killed by Police

July 15, 1990

CAMAS VALLEY, Ore. (AP) _ A police marksman on Saturday shot to death a gunman who killed a camper and took a woman hostage for 13 hours at a campground in southern Oregon, authorities said.

Police said the gunman also has been linked to the killing of a 26-year-old woman who was shot to death Wednesday at her home 70 miles away.

Douglas County District Attorney Jack Banta said the man, who has not been identified, shot and killed Larry Kaun, a 42-year-old fisherman from Bainbridge Island, Wash., when Kaun tried to stop him from breaking into a converted bus at Bear Creek Campground late Friday.

The man then entered the bus, and held the occupant, Carol Mensinger, 40, at gunpoint, Banta said.

The campground, located about 20 miles east of Myrtle Point, was evacuated as sheriff’s deputies and state troopers tried to negotiate with the hostage- taker.

“We talked or tried to talk to him,” said state police Detective Bob Shelander. “It was some spooky conversation. He threatened to shoot her if we didn’t cooperate. He would not talk to us. He would answer through her to some degree.”

Contact between the gunman and authorities ceased about 5:30 a.m. Saturday. At 12:55 p.m., a police sharpshooter felled the gunman with a single shot from a .308-caliber rifle when he got a clear view of him through the window, Banta said.

Mensinger escaped injury, and was treated at a hospital and later released. She had been camping with at least two children, both of whom had were sleeping outside the bus when the standoff began, Banta said.

Kaun, who fished commercially in Alaska, had been camping with his 12-year- old son, Aaron, who witnessed his father being shot, police said.

It was not immediately known whether the gunman knew either Mensinger or Kaun.

A handgun taken from the slain gunman was the one used to kill Michelle Sutton, 26, who apparently surprised an intruder Wednesday at her home in Scottsburg, about 70 miles north of Camas Valley, said Bill Marshall, Douglas County deputy district attorney.

Sutton had been playing with her two young children at the edge of the Umpqua River behind her house just before she was killed, Marshall said.

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