Friend says man's actions out of character in shooting of Rainier officer

PORTLAND, Ore. - A friend of the man police said shot a Rainier police officer and then himself earlier this week said Wednesday she's shocked to hear he was the gunman.

Police say 30-year-old Christopher Eugene Elliot of Waitsburg, Washington shot Rainier police Officer Russ George, 45, in the hand during a traffic stop on Highway 30 near Veterans Way early Monday afternoon. He then sped off. Police said they found him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound hours later 18 miles away near Clatskanie.

"I've never seen him have any sort of violent outburst or altercation with anybody in my life," Katie Moriarty told KATU via phone.

She said Elliott got depressed a few years ago and started drinking a lot, but then he moved back into his parent's house, and from what she heard, was doing better.

Now she feels sad he'll be remembered by this incident.

"I feel horrible for his family and for his son and the fact that he's gonna be left with that legacy as the guy who shot at a cop when it was so out of character for him," Moriarty said. "I don't know what could have been going through his head at the time."

Elliott was arrested several times but the most serious offense was third-degree theft.

George, the Rainier officer, drove himself to a hospital after the shooting and is expected to be OK.