It was Monday morning, Jan. 2, and the four Seattle hikers were more than halfway through a beautiful weekend of winter camping at Mount Rainier National Park (which remains closed until Saturday).
Now someone in a chopper was barking a garbled message through a loudspeaker.
“We thought we heard ‘A ranger has been shot and killed, shooter at large,’ ” camper Brian Vogt wrote in an email exchange with The Seattle Times. But it wasn’t all that clear.
That’s when the pilot let fly his backup plan. He dropped a coffee cup with a warning scrawled in ink: “A ranger has been shot shooter at large. Call on cell if able to Pierce Co Sheriff.”
The above photos, via MSNBC’s PhotoBlog, were taken by one of the campers, Jen Berthiaume. She and her party made it out okay, and the suspected shooter of the ranger was found dead later. Check Welch’s article for the full story.