- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 24, 2014

RAINIER, Ore. (AP) - A man sought after a Rainier police officer was shot and wounded during a traffic stop was found dead Monday afternoon, northwest Oregon authorities said.

Columbia County sheriff’s deputies heard a single gunshot shortly after they found the suspect’s car abandoned Monday afternoon, Sheriff Jeff Dickerson said. A SWAT team located the man’s body in an area of farms and cottonwood plantations.

The body had a single, apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, The Daily News of nearby Longview, Washington, reported (https://is.gd/ntpqqJ ). The man was not immediately identified.

Rainier Officer Russ George was shot in the hand earlier Monday by a driver he stopped on U.S. Highway 30 in response to driving complaints, said Oregon State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings.

George, who had been working with a female reserve officer, drove himself to a hospital in Longview, then was taken to a Portland hospital. George was in serious condition, but his injury was not considered life-threatening, Hastings said.

The bullet went through the officer’s hand and hit his chest, which was protected by a bulletproof vest, said Columbia River Fire & Rescue Chief Jay Tappan.

George is the second Rainier officer shot while on duty in recent years. Chief Ralph Painter was gunned down not far from Monday’s shooting in January 2011. Daniel Butts is still awaiting trial in that death.

Rainier is about 40 miles north of Portland.

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Information from: The Daily News, https://www.tdn.com

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