UPDATE: Flathead County Man Charged in Fatal Shooting in Martin City

Del Orrin Crawford was booked in the Flathead County Detention Center on Aug. 27 after allegedly shooting two people, killing a woman and critically injuring a man

By Beacon Staff
Flathead County Sheriff’s Office law enforcement officers. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

A 40-year-old Flathead County man remains jailed on homicide charges after an early Saturday morning shooting outside a Martin City bar left a woman dead and a man injured.

Del Orrin Crawford was booked at the Flathead County Detention Center Aug. 27 on felony charges of deliberate homicide, attempted deliberate homicide and evidence tampering.

An affidavit in support of the charges was filed Aug. 29 by Deputy Flathead County Attorney Stacy Boman, providing some details into the circumstances surrounding a shooting that killed Whisper Dawn Mari Sellars, 28, of Hungry Horse, and critically injured Doug Crosswhite, 33, also of Hungry Horse, outside the South Fork Saloon at 1 a.m. Saturday morning.

According to the affidavit, which is based on interviews between Flathead County sheriff’s deputies and witnesses, the incident began when Crawford confronted a group of people who were attempting to start a golf cart outside the Martin City drinking establishment. The confrontation escalated into an argument that included “pushing and shoving.”

One witness told deputies that Sellars, the victim, and another woman were sitting on the golf cart taking pictures outside the bar when Crawford confronted them. After an argument ensued, Crawford pushed Sellars, the affidavit states, and Crosswhite, the other victim, pushed Crawford back.

At that point, Crawford “fell backwards, got up, pulled a handgun from his waistline, and began shooting,” the affidavit states.

When law enforcement arrived at the scene, they encountered witnesses performing CPR on Sellars, who had been shot in the chest and was not breathing, as well as Crosswhite, who’d been shot in the arm and the chest. He was sitting on the road in front of the bar with a tourniquet around his arm and a seal on his chest, the affidavit states.

Sellars was pronounced dead at the scene and Crosswhite was taken to Logan Health for further medical treatment, according to the records.

At that point, Cpl. Caleb Tappan reached Crawford by phone. The law enforcement officer reported that the defendant told him he was just up the road and had shot in self-defense. Tappan told Crawford to lay the gun down and walk up the road to the bar, the affidavit states, where deputies intercepted and arrested him. Although officers pressed Crawford about the location of the gun, he merely said it was “in a safe place and the officers would not find it.”

Crawford remains jailed on $750,000 bail.

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