Ore. postal worker charged with killing co-worker


BAKER CITY, Ore. (AP) – A postal worker killed a colleague by running over her and shooting her in the office parking lot, authorities said Wednesday.

Grant Gallaher, 41, struck the woman with a postal vehicle as he drove into the lot Tuesday afternoon, said District Attorney Matthew B. Shirtcliff. The woman was on foot and her car was nearby.

Gallaher then entered the building intending to shoot postmaster Michael McGuire, but was unable to find him, Shirtcliff said in a statement.

He returned to the parking lot and shot the woman, Lori Leigh Hayes-Kotter, the prosecutor said.

Witness Cheryl Thayer said police arrived after she heard six gunshots, and that a man walking from behind the post office surrendered.

“They frisked him on the police car, handcuffed him and put him in the car,” Thayer told the Baker City Herald.

Whether Hayes-Kotter died from being struck by the car or by the shooting was not immediately clear. Shirtcliff refused to discuss a motive for Hayes-Kotter’s slaying or the attempt on the postmaster.

Hayes-Kotter, 49, had two children and worked 17 years at the post office.

Gallaher, a letter carrier who had worked for the post office for 13 years, was charged with murder and attempted murder and was being held without bail. A woman who answered the phone at his home declined to comment Wednesday.