MILTON-FREEWATER - Dozens of officers from six law enforcement agencies from both sides of the state line are searching for a suspect in this morning's shooting death of a Milton-Freewater man.
Around noon, the Milton-Freewater Fire Department's training tower was turned into a staging ground for the combined law agencies as they prepared for a search in the hills around town.
About a mile west at 52856 Stephens Road, Oregon State Police and Umatilla County Sheriff's Office deputies continued to stand watch at the home and business where Cecil "Rob" Carter was shot around 8:30 a.m.
Carter was declared dead later in the morning at Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla.
By 1 p.m., details on the suspect were not available from official sources, but Officer Tim Bennett, Walla Walla Police Department spokesman, said the suspect was believed to be armed with a rifle and an experienced hunter.
Officers were waiting for an Oregon State Police SWAT team to arrive to lead the search, and around 1:30 p.m., the first team of two camouflage-clad officers rode out in the bed of a truck to commence the search.
A single-engine airplane assisted police in the search as well.
There was no word yet from official sources on a possible motive or the precise sequence of events that led to the fatal shooting.
A neighbor in the area said he was walking his dog this morning and heard two shots, then a volley of gunfire.
Alfred Diaz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8325.