Sheriff Brian Burnett reports on October 23, 2018 at approximately 10:43 p.m., Chelan County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the 12000 block of Chumstick Hwy, approximately four miles north of Leavenworth, for the report of a male subject firing a gun at co-workers.
Burlington Northern Santé Fe (BNSF) employees were attempting to access a railroad crossing construction site via a private driveway off of Chumstick Hwy. The BNSF employees were in a large Freightliner truck and had utilized the driveway twice earlier in the day to access the work site. They were confronted by a male subject, James Carl Brown, carrying an AR style rifle. Brown advised the BNSF workers that they were on private property. As they attempted to leave and drive back down the driveway towards Chumstick Hwy, Brown shouted for the group to stop, raised the rifle and fired 3-5 rounds into the ground in front of the truck. They drove in reverse until James told them they were on BNSF right of way before James disappeared into the trees.
Fearing for their lives and not wanting to drive forward and unable to drive back down the driveway as the railroad crossing was completely torn up due to the construction, they radioed a co-worker who was approximately one mile south of their location. The BNSF workers were eventually able to escape south on the railway by using a railroad machine via the rail line.
Chelan County Sheriff’s Deputies were able to establish phone contact with Brown. Brown stated that Law Enforcement was not allowed on his property and refused to meet in person and would only talk on the phone.
Chelan County Regional SWAT was activated and utilized as negotiators continued to dialogue with Brown in an attempt for a peaceful conclusion. Brown eventually stopped communicating with Chelan County Deputies but was later located by members of the SWAT team and taken into custody without incident.
After securing search warrants for Brown’s residence, multiple firearms were located, secured for evidence and safe keeping.
Brown was booked into the Chelan County Regional Justice Center on (RCW 9A.36.011.1) Assault 1st Degree-assaults another with a firearm (four counts) and (RCW 9A.40.040) Unlawful Imprisonment (four counts).