As emergency crews arrived at the scene they were informed the occupant was armed. Officer Libke was one of the first officers on scene and confronted the man at gunpoint, ordering him to drop his gun. The 88-year-old subject instead opened fire with a revolver, striking Officer Libke in the head. Officer Libke was unable to return fire. The subject committed suicide at the location a short time later.
When someone is identified as a natural leader, certain images come to mind. First thoughts are of a no-nonsense, tough-minded, dedicated and disciplined person. This description accurately fits Officer Rob Libke who was indeed a born leader. He will be remembered as being highly organized, practical and realistic. He liked to understand things before taking action. Rob was a person who always carried a strong sense of duty with him throughout his life. Possessed with traditional "old school" morals, Rob was an individual who clearly communicated who he was and what he was about to those around him. Everyone acquainted with Rob knew him as a well-respected man who was a stable force in his community.
Rob was born on August 29, 1972 at Willamette Falls Hospital in Oregon City, Oregon. He was raised in Portland with his sister, Angie. His personal motto could well have been, "Do it right the first time.' Rob graduated from John Marshall High School in 1991.
An objective and conscientious individual, Rob found comfort in the security of his family. On February 20, 2011 Rob exchanged wedding vows with Wendy Nicole Spires at The Old Church of Portland. Rob was anxiously awaiting the arrival of his first daughter, Ziva Nicole Libke.
Being a hard worker who praised efficiency, Rob was always striving to make improvements where they were necessary. He was able to analyze situations and problems, keeping everything and everyone on track. An excellent supervisor, Rob was a person who quickly made decisions based on the information available. He worked cooperatively and expected the same from his colleagues. In both his personal and professional environments, Rob held himself to the highest standards. His primary occupation was as a General Supervisor, employed for 16 years at Evraz Oregon Steel.
Rob approached his leisure time in the same manner that he approached his life. He appreciated the hours he was able to devote to his various hobbies. His favorite pursuits were hunting, camping and serving his community.
Playing by the rules was a natural thing for Rob to do in life. He enjoyed recreational sports such as cross training, running and golf. Additionally he enjoyed watching the Portland Trailblazers and San Francisco 49ers.
A civic-minded person, Rob was always ready to jump in and help with community activities. He could masterfully organize events and projects and then see to it that they were run as efficiently as possible. Rob was a member of several community groups that included carious committees for the Oregon City Police. He was instrumental in starting a neighborhood watch in his own community.
Rob passed away on November 4, 2013 at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland. . He is survived by his wife, Wendy, mother, Fran (husband: Norm), sister, Angie, many friends and brothers and sisters in arms. For his heroic actions on November 3, 2013 Officer Libkie was posthumously awarded the Medal of Valor, Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Service Medal and Chief's Medal of Merit from the Oregon City Police. He was also awarded the Medal of Ultimate Sacrifice by the Oregon Governor's Commission.
All who knew him would agree that Rob was a pillar of the community. He lived his life with his feet firmly on the ground. He had a strong work ethic, was pragmatic in his thoughts and actions, and constantly sought the means for self-improvement. He was willing to share his ideas and knowledge for the benefit of others, so that they could accomplish more in their lives. His memory will be forever cherished.
Oregon City Police Department
End of Watch:
Monday, November 2, 2013