herald

Monday 25 September 2017

Gun killer on the run dies of the cold in US

An armed Iraq War veteran suspected of killing a park ranger after a New Year gun rampage evaded snowshoe-wearing SWAT teams and dogs for nearly a day -- but could not escape the cold.

A plane searching the remote wilderness of Washington's Mount Rainier National Park for Benjamin Barnes (24), discovered his body yesterday, partially submerged in an icy mountain creek.

"He was wearing a T-shirt, a pair of jeans and one tennis shoe. That was it," Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said.

Barnes did not have any external wounds and appeared to have died from the elements, he said. Mr Troyer said two weapons were recovered.

According to police and court documents, Barnes had a troubled transition to civilian life, with accusations in a child custody dispute that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder following his Iraq deployments and was suicidal.

The mother of his toddler daughter sought a temporary restraining order against him.

Barnes is believed to have fled to the remote park on Sunday to hide after an earlier shooting at a New Year's house party near Seattle that wounded four, two critically. Authorities suspect he then shot dead ranger Margaret Anderson.

hnews@herald.ie

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