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Woman Arrested After Armed Standoff Closes Highway 97 in Grass Valley
07/01/2010
Wade McLeod, District Attorney
Sherman County District Attorney's Office
(541) 565-3534

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NORCOR
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Oregon State Police
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A woman armed with a firearm surrendered and was taken into custody by Oregon State Police (OSP) SWAT team troopers early Thursday morning following a near 6-hour standoff on Highway 97 at the south end of Grass Valley.
 
On June 30, 2010 at approximately 7:55 p.m. Sherman County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Hulke stopped a blue 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier two door sedan on Highway 97 near milepost 28 in the Grass Valley-area for a traffic violation. At the time of the stop the Chevrolet Cavalier was driven by Leonardo Rodriguez, age 54, from Yakima, Washington. Two other people, Candice Sahme, age 24 and Nathan Smith, age 21 both of Yakima, Washington were passengers in the car.
 
During the course of the traffic stop, Deputy Hulke became suspicious that Sahme may have been involved in criminal activity. Deputy Hulke detained Sahme by placing her in handcuffs while he continued his investigation. Deputy Hulke placed Sahme in the rear seat of his Ford Crown Victoria police car and called for assistance. While Deputy Hulke was calling for assistance, Sahme produced a .40 cal handgun, which had been hidden on her person, and fired multiple shots from the back seat of the police car. Deputy Hulke, who was not hit by any of the shots, was able to retreat from the immediate area while he awaited assistance. Neither Deputy Hulke nor his drug detection canine Luke, which was locked in a dog cage in the rear of the police car, were injured.
 
At this point Nathan Smith exited the Chevrolet Cavalier and unsuccessfully attempted to free Sahme from the back seat of the police car. A short time later, backup officers including Sherman County Sheriff Brad Lohrey, arrived on scene to assist. Smith and Rodriguez were both taken into custody.
 
Officers from several law enforcement agencies including the Sherman County Sheriff's Office, Gilliam County Sheriff's Office, the Sherman County District Attorney's Office and the Oregon State Police responded to the scene. Highway 97 was closed to both northbound and southbound traffic while the scene was secured. The Oregon State Police S.W.A.T. team was activated and responded to the scene.
 
At approximately 2:15 a.m. Sahme surrendered to members of the S.W.A.T. team and was taken into custody. Sahme was transported to N.O.R.C.O.R. in The Dalles, Oregon where she was lodged on charges of First Degree Criminal Mischief, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Attempted Second Degree Escape, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Menacing with a firearm and Theft in First Degree.
 
Smith was also lodged at N.O.R.C.O.R. on charges of Felon in Possession of a Weapon and Theft First Degree. Rodriguez was not charged with a crime and was later released.
 
Police agencies were assisted with traffic control by the South Sherman County Fire Department and O.D.O.T. Highway 97 was re-opened to traffic at 3:00 a.m., approximately 6 1/2 hours after the incident began.
 
Oregon State Police and the Sherman County District Attorney's Office are continuing the investigation. Additional inquiries regarding this incident should be directed to Sherman County District Attorney Wade McLeod.