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Suspected OC cop killer's death ruled suicide

The State Medical Examiner’s Office said Tuesday that Lawrence Cambra, 88-year-old man suspected of shooting and killing an Oregon City reserve police officer Sunday afternoon, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.

Cambra is believed to have shot 41-year-old Reserve Officer Robert Libke when he responded to a fire at Cambra’s home.

At about 1 p.m. Sunday, Oregon City police and Clackamas Fire District No. 1 crews responded to a house fire at 841 Linn Ave. Neighbors told 911 dispatchers that the home was ablaze as Cambra was running around his property with a gun.

Libke was one of the first officers on scene. According to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, he was confronted and shot by Cambra. Libke was airlifted to Legacy Emanuel. He was taken off life support and died just after noon Monday.

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, the Governor's Commission on the Law Enforcement Medal of Honor held an emergency meeting and unanimously voted to award the Medal of Ultimate Sacrifice to Libke.

Gov. John Kitzhaber released the following statement:

“I am deeply saddened to hear that Officer Robert Libke has died from injuries sustained in the line of duty. Officer Libke protected and served his fellow citizens, and the bravery and professionalism he brought to the Oregon City Police Department was matched only by his commitment to his community. I am humbled by his sacrifice and courage, and my thoughts are with his family, his friends, and his fellow Oregon City police officers.”

Suspect 'wasn't a nice man'

At the scene of the crime in Oregon City, neighbors told KOIN 6 News that Cambra wasn't well-liked in this neighborhood. They said he would often argue with them and give dirty looks.

But no one thought he was capable of shooting and killing an officer.

Minutes before Cambra's Oregon City home went up in flames, neighbors say his domestic partner was seen walking away in a panic. Neighbors suspect the two got into a heated argument.

"His girlfriend or wife left maybe 30 minutes before fire started at house," said neighbor Pam Laird. "She was nervous, trying to call somebody."

Court records show the girlfriend filed a restraining order against Cambra in 2012, and that officers have been called to the home nearly a dozen times.

In her own handwriting his girlfriend says "Cambra said he was going to get a gun and get rid of a few people and himself — and that I 'should watch my back.'"

Court documents indicate the restraining order was later withdrawn. But neighbors recall a mean streak with the 88-year-old man.

"He caused a lot of enemies in the neighborhood," said one.

The last time Laird saw Cambra alive, he was pounding on her back door and trying to get in. She refused.

Moments later, Libke was shot — eventually loosing his life in the line of duty.

"I've never let him in my house," Laird said. "He wasn't a nice man, ever."

KOIN 6 News left several messages for the suspect's girlfriend Monday. Those calls have yet to be returned.

Again, neighbors said they knew of Cambra's anger issues. However, they never would have expected this tragic outcome.