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Gunman Who Murdered Cowlitz Deputy Is Brother Of Rainier Chief’s Killer

Half-brothers Daniel Butts and Brian Butts are both cop-killers, according to police.

Kalama, WA – The convicted felon accused of murdering a Washington sheriff’s deputy on Saturday night is the half-brother of a man who fatally shot an Oregon police chief in 2011.

Brian Butts, 33, murdered Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Deputy Justin DeRosier in the line of duty, as the deputy was investigating a report of a disabled motorhome, according to police.

Brian was fatally shot by police during an exchange of gunfire on Sunday night, KING reported.

In March, his half-brother, Daniel Butts, pleaded guilty to having murdered Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter in the line of duty on Jan. 5, 2011, according to The Oregonian.

He was sentenced to life in prison for aggravated murder, but may have an opportunity for parole in 49 years.

Daniel’s father, Mikel Butts, explained that the half-brothers have the same mother, The Oregonian reported.

Mikel is also Brian’s uncle, according to KOIN.

He said he has not had contact with Brian for about 15 years, and noted that he knew Brian previously served time in prison.

Deputy DeRosier came under fire just after 10 p.m. on Saturday, shortly after he arrived at the scene of a disabled motorhome that was blocking a roadway, The Daily News reported.

The 29-year-old married father-of-one was flown to PeaceHealth Medical Center in Vancouver, but died during surgery, according to KIRO.

The gunman, later identified as Brian, fled the scene prior to backup officers’ arrival, The Oregonian reported.

At approximately 7 p.m. on Sunday, the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) received a report of a suspicious individual in the area of Spencer Creek Road, KING reported.

A gunfight erupted when police arrived at the scene, and Brian was fatally wounded.

No officers were injured during the encounter, which brought an end to the 22-hour manhunt for Deputy DeRosier’s killer.

According to the Washington State Department of Corrections, Brian was sentenced to five years in prison for drug offenses in September of 2012, The Oregonian reported.

He had an extensive criminal history, including convictions for burglary, marijuana possession, and assault.

Chief Painter, 55, was fatally shot in the head with his own duty weapon after he interrupted a vehicle theft in progress at a car stereo shop in January of 2011, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

After he murdered Chief Painter, Daniel got into a shootout with additional officers who responded to the scene.

He was ultimately wounded, and was placed under arrest.

Chief Painter, a 25-year veteran of the department, left behind a wife and seven children.

Holly Matkin - April Tue, 2019


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