At approximately 12:30 a.m. today, the Sanders County Sheriff’s Office received a call for assistance regarding a male subject armed with a handgun and an assault rifle who had entered the Naughty Pine Saloon near Trout Creek.
The male barricaded himself inside an area of the saloon. A small group of patrons were inside the saloon at the time of the incident. A Sanders County deputy arrived on scene and began negotiating with the subject.
The man would not cooperate with the deputy and a request for assistance was made to the Missoula County Sheriff’s Department for use of its Tactical Negotiations and SWAT Teams.
The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office was also requested for deployment of its SWAT and Negotiation Teams, which are comprised of Flathead County deputies and Kalispell police officers.
Although the majority of the patrons were safely removed, a family member to the man refused to leave and remained behind. Following negotiations with law enforcement and subsequent tear gas deployment, the family member was safely removed and taken into custody.
The man, 35, eventually exited the saloon brandishing a firearm and less than lethal rounds were deployed in an attempt to not use lethal force.
The effort was ineffective and he attempted to flee, firing at pursuing officers, one of whom was shot by the suspect.
Law enforcement returned fire, fatally wounding the subject.
The officer suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound and was transported to Kalispell Regional Medical Center for treatment.
The Montana Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation was requested by the Sanders County Sheriff’s Department to conduct an independent investigation of the shooting.
“These are always complex cases and will require thorough crime scene processing, extensive interviews and a full assessment of the events leading up to the incident,” said DCI Administrator Bryan Lockerby. “With multiple law enforcement agencies involved and dynamic events happening, it takes a considerable amount of resources for a thorough and thoughtful investigation.”
When the investigation is complete, DOJ will submit the case file to the Sanders County Attorney’s Office for review.
No additional information is available at this time.