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Florence man faces felony charge after Saturday standoff
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Florence man faces felony charge after Saturday standoff

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A Florence man who allegedly claimed to be prepared for a “shoot-out” with police and who was arrested after standoff behind the Florence Ace Hardware store was charged with felony intimidation Monday.

Daniel Marck Lieberg, 38, appeared before Ravalli County Justice Jennifer Ray on the felony charge and four misdemeanors, including partner or family member assault and fleeing from the police.

According to the charging affidavit, a deputy was dispatched to a home in the lower Eight Mile area east of Florence for a 911 report that Lieberg was allegedly headed to the residence to “have a shoot-out with the people at the house.” The call came in at about 2 p.m. Saturday.

Lieberg had been dating a woman who was at the home to remove her belongings. She was accompanied by friends and both her mother and Lieberg’s mother.

The affidavit said Lieberg had become “increasingly paranoid” over the last few weeks and had installed security cameras at the home. When he saw the woman and her friends through the video camera system, Lieberg texted the woman: “you have turned me into a monster and now I am going to show what I’m capable of” and “this is how you want it end, huh. Why you got your wish the world will know how far you pushed now” and “ you get to watch cops kill me," according to the affidavit.

The woman called 911 to request a civil standby so she could safely move her things out, the affidavit said.

While the deputy was talking with some of the people gathered at the home, he heard Lieberg say on the phone's speaker that he was on his way to the house to “shut this (expletive) down and I have a gun.”

When the deputy saw Lieberg’s vehicle approach the house, he drew his weapon. Lieberg stopped about 15 feet from the patrol car and refused to get out of his vehicle. The affidavit said Lieberg was screaming profanities at everyone. The deputy said he could see Lieberg pointing a handgun at his head.

At one point, the two mothers approached Lieberg and were able to convince him to give them the handgun.

Lieberg, who also brandished a shotgun,told the deputy he was leaving and drove away from home, the affidavit said.

The handgun taken from Lieberg had the safety off, and had a live round in the chamber and seven more rounds in the magazine, according to the affidavit.

A second sheriff’s officer spotted Lieberg’s vehicle on Highway 93, and followed it in an attempt to stop it, but Lieberg refused to pull over, the affidavit said.

Lieberg went through a red light at Florence as he turned right onto U.S. Highway 93. He eventually turned off on an access road before coming to a stop behind the Florence Ace Hardware at about 2:15 p.m.

Lieberg refused to get out of his vehicle. He also refused to show his hands and put them out of the window, according to the affidavit. His vehicle was still in gear and rolled about 10 feet at one point. The officer asked for assistance from the Missoula County Sheriff’s office to set up barriers to keep Lieberg from fleeing.

At about 2:33 p.m., the officer told dispatch that he could see Lieberg putting the gun in his mouth. The officer pleaded with the man to not “do that.”

Lieberg said he wanted to talk with his mother but still refused to put his hands outside the vehicle. At 2:49 p.m., the officer was able to talk with Lieberg, but he still refused to leave the vehicle. Five minutes later, Lieberg got out of his van and faced the officer. He had a black pump-action shotgun with the barrel pressed under his chin and one hand on the trigger.

The affidavit said the officer could see from Lieberg’s body language that he was on the verge of shooting himself. Lieberg’s body would tense up and he would wince in anticipation.

Lieberg kept asking the officer if he was going to be put in prison. After about a minute of conversation, Lieberg put the butt of the shotgun on the ground and hunched over.

At about 2:56 p.m., he put the shotgun down, took a couple of steps away from it and then physically and emotionally broke down on the ground near the bumper of his vehicle, at which point he was taken into custody.

The officer found several shotgun shells lying next to the gun and a belt of shotgun shells in the vehicle and another belt just behind the driver’s seat.

Ray set bail at $25,000.

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