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Suspect in Rainier ranger's killing is linked to West Hill shooting

One of the suspects in a New Year’s Day shooting on West Hill is also the suspect in the fatal shooting of a ranger at Mount Rainier National Park later in the morning, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Three men and a woman were shot, two critically, just after 3 a.m. Sunday at a house party in the 6200 block of South 117th Place in Skyway.  At about 10:30 a.m., the ranger,  identified in media reports as Margaret Anderson,  was shot to death by a man fleeing another officer in the park.

A massive manhunt in the park is under way by numerous law enforcement agencies, including federal ones.

The suspect in the ranger’s shooting is one of three men sheriff’s detectives determined had fled the West Hill shooting before deputies arrived.  Detectives located two of the subjects and had been working with the family of the third to convince him to meet with sheriff investigators, according to Sgt. Cindi West, a spokeswoman for the King County Sheriff’s Office.

“The assassination of the park ranger is extremely tragic and is the top priority right now,” West said.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the ranger’s shooting; the national park is in Pierce County.

The victims in the West Hill shooting, all in their 20s, were transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle;  two were reported in critical condition immediately after the shooting,  according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Witnesses told King County investigators that a number of people  were armed at the New Year’s Eve party and had a “show and tell” with their guns.  Just before 3  a.m. an argument started over a gun and a shootout occurred during the argument that resulted in the shooting of the four people, according to West.

Numerous shots were fired, according to West, but it was unknown immediately how many people were shooting and who had initiated the shooting.  Detectives had not been able to interview victims  because of their injuries.

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