Published November 05, 2013
OREGON CITY, Ore. – The 88-year-old man who fatally shot an Oregon police officer over the weekend before taking his own life had a reputation for quarrels and a record of domestic disputes.
Residents of the Oregon City trailer park where Lawrence Cambra lived for 17 years told The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/1a44SJc) he picked fights with neighbors, threatened to shoot them, and killed his own homing pigeons after someone complained about them.
Cambra's 70-year-old girlfriend got a restraining order against him last year after reporting that he warned her to "watch her back," the newspaper reported. She also said Cambra threatened to get a gun and "get rid of some people and himself."
On Sunday, authorities said, the girlfriend fled after a confrontation with Cambra, who later set the couple's house on fire.
After reserve officer Robert Libke arrived at the burning house, Cambra shot him in the face.
Members of a Clackamas County sheriff's office SWAT team were called to the scene.
Initially, authorities said the SWAT team killed Cambra. But an autopsy later showed Cambra killed himself with a single gunshot to the chest, sheriff's officials said Tuesday.
They declined to say whether any SWAT team bullets actually hit Cambra.
Investigators say it's still unclear what caused Cambra's behavior.
Cambra and his girlfriend, Joyce Ruby Eileen Smith, met while Cambra was living at the assisted living facility where Smith worked in Oregon City, south of Portland. They began living together in 2006 and bought the house where Cambra killed himself.
Records show a conflict among the pair began to escalate last year.
In October 2012, when the couple was on the verge of separating, police were called to the residence at least 10 times. Cambra also sought out Smith at her workplace and threatened her, The Oregonian reported.
After Smith got the restraining order, Cambra was jailed for violating it. But Smith declined to prosecute, and the order was dropped last November, according to the newspaper.
Cambra moved from California to the Maplelane Estates trailer park in Oregon City in 1988. He was retired and identified himself on the rental application as a former federal government employee.
Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com