DEER LODGE — Butte police received a call at 12:30 a.m. Thursday morning from Gallatin County police asking for assistance in locating a 35-year-old Montana man who had fired shots at Gallatin County officers and was headed towards Butte.
The incident resulted in a chase that involved the Montana Highway Patrol, police officers from Granite County, Anaconda-Deer Lodge, Butte-Silver Bow, and Powell County, and swat teams from Butte and Missoula. The suspect was finally arrested Thursday morning after a four-hour standoff on I-90 near Garrison.
At 11:45 p.m. Wednesday, Gallatin County police were dispatched to a Belgrade residence to investigate a partner or family member assault. The suspect had left prior to their arrival.
The white truck, towing a trailer, was located at a Belgrade gas station and a deputy, with his emergency lights and siren, attempted to stop the driver. The suspect took off out of the parking lot, hitting another vehicle. The deputy and other officers followed the driver, who headed toward Manhattan on the frontage road.
An unsuccessful attempt was made to spike the truck’s tires in Manhattan and the driver headed west onto I-90. At the Logan interchange, a Gallatin County detective was setting up spike strips when the suspect fired multiple rounds, striking the unmarked vehicle.
Shortly thereafter, the pursuit was called off due to poor road conditions and poor visibility.
Butte officers were able to find the abandoned trailer near Homestake at around 1 a.m., but no white truck.
A half-hour later, the truck was located in the area of Elm and Holmes in Butte. When officers approached the driver, he took off in his truck and headed west, driving upwards of 80 miles per hour on Front Street, Centennial Avenue, and Excelsior Street. He then headed west on I-90 and officers from Anaconda-Deer Lodge County joined in the pursuit.
Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff Ed Lester reported that at times the suspect was driving between 90 to 100 miles per hour.
During the chase, eastbound and westbound traffic on I-90 between mile-markers 162 and 175 near Deer Lodge was halted.
According to Powell County Sheriff Gavin Roselles, the area was secured for the safety of the public.
Spike strips disabled the truck’s right front tire but the truck continued for another 15 miles. Finally, 4 miles west of Garrison, the suspect had to pull over, but remained in the truck near the side of the highway.
Tactical teams from Butte and Missoula were at the scene, along with armored vehicles.
According to Sheriff Lester, the suspect continued to be non-compliant so a set of distraction devices were placed outside the truck.
The standoff lasted approximately four hours.
“He eventually got out on his own,” explained Sheriff Lester. “No one was injured, including the suspect and that’s the way we like it.
The suspect, who surrendered at about 7:40 a.m., is now at the Powell County Jail.
“Fortunately no one was hurt and resulted in a good resolution,” said Sheriff Roselles.