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Posted at 06:45 PM ET, 01/03/2012

Slain park ranger had D.C. ties

A National Park Service ranger and mother of two who was fatally shot in a Washington State park Sunday had ties to the D.C. metro area.

Margaret Anderson, 34, spent more than two years as a law enforcement ranger at the C&O Canal National Park.

“She worked from Sharpsburg, Md. — which is very near Antietam, but on the C&O Canal — all the way down to upper Montgomery County,” said National Park Service spokesman Bill Line.

Anderson was slain as she tried to block a car that failed to stop at a required tire chain checkpoint, authorities have said. Authorities think the gunman was Benjamin Colton Barnes, 24, an Iraq war veteran who later was found dead in the park, according to an Associated Press report.

Anderson was one of the 10 percent of national park rangers trained as law enforcement officers. Her duties differed from those of interpretive rangers, who commonly lead hikes or run visitor centers.

“When she was here, she had a gun on her hip,” Line said. He described her as“the competent professional, very smart, let’s-get-this-stuff-done kind of attitude.”

Anderson and her husband were National Park Service rangers when they first met. He worked at Prince William Forest Park, but transferred to Antietam National Battlefield to be closer to her C&O Canal station, Line said.

Both worked at Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington state. Anderson is survived by a husband and two young children.

By Sylvia Carignan  |  06:45 PM ET, 01/03/2012

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