Crime, Hagg Lake, Washington County Sheriff's Office

Suspect named in Hagg Lake shooting of two sheriff’s deputies

56-year-old Dante James Halling. Booking photo from a 2018 arrest at Multnomah County

HAGG LAKE – While responding to reports of the theft of a long gun at a Hagg Lake area home at 2:16 p.m. on Thursday, August 8, two members of the Washington County Tactical Negotiation Team (TNT) were shot by a single suspect in a gunfight.

Now, the Washington County Major Crimes Team has released the name of the suspect, who remains in an area hospital. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has not given an update on the suspect’s condition.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, 56-year-old Dante James Halling has been identified as the suspect who shot two Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies while they responded to the theft report near the 54700 block of SW Scoggins Valley Road on Thursday.

Halling has not yet been charged with any crimes stemming from Thursday’s shooting, but is being held on two unrelated criminal warrants — one from Multnomah County for a probation violation of an attempted assault conviction and one from the Oregon State Parole Board for a parole violation — that were issued in December of 2018.

Prior to the shooting, the Washington County Tactical Negotiation Team had been called to the scene to assist due to the difficult terrain of the area and reports that the suspect was armed.

As members of TNT searched the suspect’s last known location in a wooded area, the suspect opened fire on them, striking two deputies. Multiple TNT members returned fire, injuring the suspect.

How many times Halling was struck by the return fire is not yet known.

TNT is a special team — often referred to as a SWAT team — from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and other area partner agencies designed for “extremely hazardous situations where conventional police tactics and equipment may be inadequate,” according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office website.

With immediate response from a Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue paramedic assigned to TNT, a massive effort began to safely evacuate and treat the two officers.

Once evacuated, personnel from Gaston Rural Fire Protection District, Cornelius Fire Department and Metro West Ambulance provided on-scene medical care. One officer was taken by a Lifeflight air ambulance to a trauma hospital with serious injuries, while the second was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Halling surrendered to deputies after being shot and was also transported to an area hospital.

At a news conference Thursday evening, Sheriff Pat Garrett extended his thanks to the agencies that assisted with medical care after the shooting.

“My sincerest appreciation to the many local agencies who responded to transport the injured deputies to safety and to provide ongoing medical care,” he said.

Assisting on scene was a long list of emergency response agencies: Cornelius Police (contracted from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office), Forest Grove Police, Beaverton Police, Hillsboro Police, Tigard Police, Sherwood Police, Tualatin Police, Oregon State Police, Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office, Portland Police Bureau, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, Lifeflight Network, Metro West Ambulance, Cornelius Fire Department, Gaston Rural Fire, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue, and Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office continues to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from our community. We thank everyone for their kind words and warm wishes,” a statement from the Sheriff’s office read.

One deputy was treated and released, and now is recovering at home, per the sheriff’s office. The second remains in serious condition at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).

The Major Crimes Team is looking for more information about Halling’s recent activities and whereabouts.

Members of the public are asked to call a tip line at 503-846-2500 if they spoke with, saw, or know anything about Halling’s activities and location in the weeks prior to the shooting.

Below: Halling was photographed wearing boots, high white socks, dark shorts, a dark top, and was wearing a bag/backpack on Thursday near Hagg Lake prior to the shooting.

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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