News and Press Releases
Friday, 21 January 2011 16:59

A Columbia County Grand Jury charged Daniel A. Butts with the murder of Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter in a 24-count indictment on Friday, January 21.  The Grand Jury also found that the officers who responded to the scene of the crime and engaged in a firefight with the suspect were justified in their use of deadly physical force.

 Butts is charged with nine (9) counts of aggravated murder, 5 counts of attempted aggravated murder and other counts charging robbery in the first degree, burglary in the first degree, theft in the first degree, unauthorized use of a vehicle and recklessly endangering another person.

An arraignment on the indictment is scheduled for Wednesday, January 26, 2011 @ 3:00 p.m.

In addition to the indictments, The Clatskanie and Longview Police officers who responded to the scene and fired their weapons at the suspect during the ensuing gunfight were cleared by the grand jury, who found that each officer's use of deadly physical force during the encounter was justified.

 Butts remains in custody in the Columbia County Jail in Close-Custody, solitary confinement. Sheriff Jeff Dickerson said this classification is routine for anyone charged with these kinds of crimes.

Rainier City Information on Memorials for fallen Chief Ralph Painter PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 11 January 2011 11:43

Memorial Events Information
As of 5:00PM Monday, January 10, 2011

Date: Thursday, January 13, 2011
Time: 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Location: Rainier City Hall
    106 B St. W
    Rainier, OR

Memorial Procession
Date: Friday, January 14, 2011
Time: To Be Determined
Staging Location: To Be Determined

Memorial Ceremony
Date: Friday, January 14, 2011
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: University of Portland Chiles Center
    5000 North Willamette Blvd.
    Portland, OR

Celebration of Life
Date: Saturday, January 15, 2011
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: Rainier High School Auditorium
    28170 Old Rainier Road
    Rainier, OR


Tax-deductible donations for Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter’s funeral service can be made at any Columbia County Fire Station, Rainier City Hall or the United Way. United Way donations should indicate Columbia County Firefighters Association for Chief Ralph Painter.

An account has been set up at Bank of America for contributions to Chief Ralph Painter’s family. Contributions can be made at any Bank of America Branch.

Additional information to be made available as we know it.

City of Rainier Overseeing Memorial Preparations for Chief Ralph Painter PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 10 January 2011 16:35
Public safety agencies planning to participate in the memorial procession and service for fallen Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter and who are looking for advance information for scheduling purposes will be able to find that information here on our website once those plans have been finalized.

The direct contact for information about memorial service logistics is the City of Rainier, Oregon, and their mayor, Jerry Cole. The city is working with an incident management team to assist them with logistics for the procession and memorial service.  The Sheriff’s Office is overseeing the criminal investigation and issues associated with it, and we have made ourselves available to the City of Rainier to assist them with any need that they might have in their planning process.

The Sheriff’s Office has received information that the City of Rainier is planning on providing a link on the city’s website that will include the latest information on the memorial service for Chief Painter
Memorial Set for Fallen Rainier Police Chief PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 07 January 2011 18:36
Planning for the Memorial Service for Chief Ralph Painter is in full swing.  Planners have designated the Service to begin at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, January 14 at the Chiles Center on the University of Portland Campus. The campus is located at 5000 North Willamette Blvd. in Portland.

A public visitation at the casket of the fallen police chief will be held at the Rainier City Hall on Thursday, January 13 between noon and 6 p.m.

In addition to other fund raising and relief efforts in memory of Chief Painter, a special fund sponsored by the Columbia River Fire & Rescue Volunteer Association is accepting tax exempt donations to defray the cost of the memorial service.  Donations in the name of the Chief Ralph Painter Memorial Service can be brought to any Fire Department in Columbia County, the United Way of Columbia County, or the Rainier City Hall.
Last Updated on Friday, 07 January 2011 18:41
Rainier Police Chief Slain PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 January 2011 10:39

A reported disturbance at a Rainier car audio shop turned deadly yesterday when the responding officer got into a struggle with a suspect, and was killed by gunshot.

Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter responded to the disturbance at 75938 Rockcrest Street in Rainier, the location for Rainier Sound Authority. Chief Painter made contact with the suspect at the store and a struggle ensued. The officer was wounded with a gunshot and later was pronounced dead.

Police agencies from Every Columbia County law enforcement agency responded, as did officers and deputies from the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office, Longview Police Department and the Washington State Patrol.

 Columbia 911 took the initial call and helped guide the law enforcement response and media frenzy that followed.  Tactical dispatchers from Columbia 911 assisted at the scene.

 The Sheriff's Office is the Incident Command for the massive public safety response, including the subsequent investigation.  Investigators from the Oregon State Police are providing the primary assistance to the investigation through the Columbia County Major Crimes team. The lone Columbia County Sheriff's detective is assigned to the team.

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