Man set off explosives inside home during SWAT standoff


Courtesy: Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man was arrested after a standoff with authorities on Wednesday, during which he set off explosives inside his home — destroying the house and a car in the process.

Cowlitz County deputies originally responded to reports of a road rage incident on Sunday. The people who reported it told deputies a man in a blue Ford had cut them off, causing a collision. Things escalated when the man reportedly exited his vehicle, pointed a gun at the occupants of the other car and then fired shots off into a wooded area nearby before driving off

The suspect was recognized as 41-year-old John Threlfall. Deputies searched for him and attempted to find him at his home, but they were unsuccessful for several days.

Wednesday night, various neighbors called authorities to report Threlfall had returned home and was armed with a rifle — firing shots off outside. Once deputies responded to the scene, Threlfall went back inside the home where he then ignited what were believed to be firework motars.

Neighboring homes were evacuated and the Lower Columbia SWAT team was called to the scene. Meanwhile, the house was fully engulfed in flames. Both the house and a car were destroyed in the fire.

Threlfall continued to ignore the commands to surrender until the SWAT team deployed chemical munitions. They then found him hiding out in a canopy in the backyard, where he was taken into custody.

Threlfall was booked into Cowlitz County Jail on charges of arson, aiming or discharging firearms/dangerous weapons, possession of drug paraphernalia, two counts of second-degree assault, along with drive-by shooting and hit and run attended.

Deputies learned that a female associate had been with Threlfall when the incident started at his home and would like to speak with her. Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office at 360.577.3092.

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