AUBURN, Wash. -- Like others who were visiting Mount Rainier National Park on Sunday, Ken Schroeder believes park ranger Margaret Anderson's actions may have saved his life. And now he wants to organize others who were visiting the park that day to see if they can help Anderson's family.
Anderson, a 34-year-old mother of two kids, was shot and killed Sunday while trying to stop a car that failed to pull over at a checkpoint requiring drivers to put chains on their vehicles.
I personally think she very likely saved many people's lives, Schroeder said.
Schroeder was taking his neighbor's sons snowshoeing on Sunday.Minutes after parking their truck, the shooting happened justdown the road.
It's just a matter of minutes -- a minute-and-a-half or so -- where he would have been in the parking lot with his weapons, with nowhere to go, Schroeder said. It's a dead end.
Immediately after the shooting, park rangers ushered Schroeder, the kids and about 100 other people into the visitors center. They stayed there for nearly 18 hours while authorities searched for the man who shot Anderson.
Authorities said the gunman, Benjamin Colton Barnes, was found dead the next day in a snowy creek. An autopsy showed he had hypothermia and drowned.
Schroeder now wants to reconnect with the people who were staying in the visitors center, hopingthey can team up to raise money for Anderson's family. He feels they owe her so much.
It's pretty much impossible really to repay that, he said. You can't do anything except maybe help out her family.
Schroeder already touched base with Jeremy Best, a Tacoma man who believes he was the last person to see Anderson alive.Schroeder is now hoping others will reach out to him so they can organize efforts to help the family.
Schroeder can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.