Standoff leaves one dead, one injured

A shooting and house fire on Mountaindale Road in North Plains last Wednesday left one man dead and one man injured.

Firefighters from Washington County Fire District 2 were dispatched just before noon March 26 to a shooting at 35053 N.W. Mountaindale Road, just north of town.

Upon arrival, firefighters were escorted by a Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy to the patient, James Crandall, 24, in a vehicle with a gunshot wound to his upper abdomen.

The vehicle was parked across the street from where he was originally shot. The vehicle was driven by his mother, 49-year-old Pamela Crandall. James Crandall was transported to a local hospital.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the scene of the shooting and attempted to communicate with the apparent shooter, Brian Olson, 31, who had retreated into the house. Deputies surrounded the house and closed Mountaindale Road at the Dairy Creek Road intersection.

Initial information given to the deputies indicated that Olson and James Crandall had been in a dispute at the home that all three people shared. Olson is a companion of Pamela Crandall. At some point during the dispute, Olson shot James Crandall with a high-powered rifle, then retreated into the house, said Sgt. Bob Ray of the sheriff’s office.

The Washington County Tactical Negotiations Team (TNT) and the Crisis Negotiations Unit (CNU) responded to attempt communication with Olson for a peaceful resolution.

After several dozen unsuccessful communication attempts, TNT deployed gas canisters into the house to prompt Olson to surrender.

Just before 3 p.m., deputies saw a fire develop inside the house, prompting the dispatch of Washington County Fire District 2, Hillsboro Fire Department and Banks fire crews.

Deputies determined it was unsafe for fire personnel to approach the scene, believing Olson was armed with a rifle. The blaze fully engulfed the majority of the home in flames. Once firefighters were able to attack the fire, they had it under control within 30 minutes.

Shortly after the fire was out, investigators discovered Olson deceased inside the house. A state medical examiner determined on March 27 that Olson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Fire investigators could not conclusively determine the cause of the fire due to the extensive damage to the house. Investigators did determine, however, that there were no law enforcement gas canisters in the area where the fire started. A propane torch was found close to Olson. The gas canisters used are specifically designed to be flameless to avoid causing a fire.

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