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Shooting, suicide shatter North Plains calm

The North Plains man who allegedly shot a housemate and then took his own life had been arrested twice before in Washington County, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO).by: COURTESY PHOTO - A home at 35053 N.W. Mountaindale Road in North Plains was fully engulfed in flames March 26 before Washington County Sheriffs deputies determined it was safe for firefighters to approach. Brian Olson, 31, was found dead inside.

On March 26, Brian R. Olson, 31, allegedly shot James Crandall, 24, with a high-powered rifle following an argument.

WCSO deputies and emergency medical personnel were dispatched just before noon to the shooting, which took place at 35053 N.W. Mountaindale Road, just north of North Plains. Upon arrival, emergency responders were escorted by a WCSO deputy to the shooting victim, who was in a vehicle with a gunshot wound to his upper abdomen.

The vehicle, driven by the victim’s mother — 49-year-old Pamela Crandall — was parked across the street from where he was shot.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the scene, where officers attempted to communicate with Olson, 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, which all three people shared. Olson was a companion of Pamela Crandall. At some point during the dispute, Olson allegedly shot Crandall.

On April 1, Sgt. Bob Ray,

WCSO spokesman, said the investigation was continuing.

“There was some sort of disturbance and disagreement,” explained Ray. “We’re really not sure we have all the details yet.”

The Washington County Tactical Negotiations Team (TNT) and the Crisis Negotiations Unit (CNU) responded to attempt to communicate with Olson for a peaceful resolution. After several dozen unsuccessful communication attempts, the TNT deployed gas canisters into the house in an effort to prompt Olson to surrender.

Ray pointed out that Olson had previously run afoul of the law.

“He was no stranger to law enforcement,” Ray said.

WCSO records showed that Olson was arrested in 2003 for theft, and again in 2004 for harassment.

Just before 3 p.m. on March 26, deputies saw a fire develop inside the house, prompting the dispatch of Washington County Fire District 2, along with Hillsboro Fire Department and Banks fire crews.

Deputies determined it was unsafe for fire personnel to approach the scene, believing Olson was still armed with a rifle, and the blaze engulfed most of the home. Once firefighters were able to attack the fire, they had it under control within 30 minutes.by: COURTESY PHOTO - Brian Olson in a 2004 photo.

Shortly after the fire was out, investigators discovered Olson deceased inside the house. On March 27, a state medical examiner determined 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. However, law enforcement officials reported they found a propane torch close to Olson’s body.

“Our fire investigator was unable to determine exactly what caused the fire, but our gas canisters are designed not to start a fire, and the canisters were not even close to where the fire started,” said Ray.

James Crandall was transported to a local hospital, suffering from severe internal injuries. According to Ray, Crandall underwent surgery, but he was expected to live.



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