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Anderson, Ranger Margaret A.

End of Watch: 
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Mount Rainier National Park

On January 1, 2012 at about 1030 hours, National Parks Service Ranger Margaret Anderson attempted to stop a vehicle near Barn Flats, about a mile south of Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park.  The vehicle that she attempted to stop had driven through a snow chain checkpoint near Longmire Ranger Station and other rangers were attempting to stop it.

Unbeknownst to Ranger Anderson, the driver of the Chevrolet Impala that passed the chain checkpoint was Benjamin Colton Barnes, wanted for shooting four people in the Skyway area of King County overnight.

As Ranger Dan Camiccia chased after Barnes, Ranger Anderson radioed that she’d set a roadblock to stop the violator.  As Barnes approached Barn Flats, he U-turned his car and began firing at Ranger Anderson.  She wasn’t even able to exit her Tahoe before she was shot and killed.  Barnes continued to fire upon the other rangers as they approached.  They retreated down the mountain as Barnes continued to fire upon them. 

For nearly 90 minutes, Barnes continued to fire at officers attempting to get to Ranger Anderson.  Barnes abandoned additional ammunition and survival gear to escape into the back country.  Over 250 officers descended on the park to find Barnes, but the next day his dead body was found less than a mile from the scene of the shooting.  He was found laying facedown in Paradise Creek.

On November 28, 2012, the United States House of Representatives passed an act to name the Eatonville post office the “National Park Ranger Margaret Anderson Post Office.”  The bill was sponsored by Rep. Dave Reichert (8th District) and referred to the Senate’s Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs for action.

Ranger Anderson was survived by her husband and two young children. Her husband, who also served as a park ranger, was on duty at the time.