Hostage Officer Disarms, Kills Captor; Escapes

Associated Press

A policeman held hostage for eight hours by two robbery suspects escaped unharmed Friday after he grabbed a gun and killed one of his drug-impaired captors, police said.

The second suspect later killed himself, state Medical Examiner Dr. Larry V. Lewman said after autopsies on the two men.

Officer Larry Strayer, 43, a seven-year veteran of the force, was unharmed, police said.

“Please get me out of here,” the officer said at one point during his ordeal. “They indicated this is the last time I can talk on the radio. If anybody rushes the door, I’m dead.”


The dead men were identified as Michael Richard Ager, 37, and Albert Wesley Reinhart, 42, both of Tacoma, Wash.

Lewman said Reinhart was shot three times by Strayer, dying from wounds to his chest and lungs. Strayer shot Ager once in the leg, and Ager later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, Lewman said.

The officer was taken hostage at about 8 p.m. Thursday when he went to the Portland Rose Motel to question the men about the robbery of a nearby supermarket earlier in the evening. The men demanded Dilaudid, a form of morphine, and safe passage out of the motel.

At 4 a.m. Friday, Strayer seized a gun from his captors and opened fire.


Gunshots were heard inside the motel room on two occasions after the officer escaped, but there was no exchange of gunfire with officers outside, police spokesman Henry Groepper said.

After lobbing tear gas into the room and getting no response, police sent a remote-controlled, camera-equipped robot device into the room and found the bodies.