A sheriff’s deputy was killed in a shootout that caused a middle of the night pursuit near Three Forks, Montana.
Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin said that the chain of events began when a Broadwater County deputy, who has not been identified, was pursuing a vehicle on U.S, Highway 287. Dispatchers lost contact with the deputy at about 3 a.m. Tuesday.
Officers found the deputy dead by the side of the road near Three Forks, which is about 180 miles southeast of Missoula.
The vehicle was noticed again near Anaconda. Officers used spike strips in Powell Country, but the vehicle was able to continue west on Interstate 90 before stopping about 35 miles east of Missoula.
The passenger got out of the car and begin firing at officers who returned fire. The officers shot the man multiple times, disarming but not killing him. He was taken to the hospital.
Sheriff’s Deputy Dies at the Scene
The police are investigating the incident as an officer homicide. However, they do not know as of right now what happened to cause the chase to escalate. After all, most vehicle chases don’t end with a police officer dying. Something must have gone seriously, tragically, wrong.
The driver, 61 year old Lloyd Barrus, was arrested. Investigators are still working on his case, but it’s clear that charges are coming soon. Barrus will likely face the full brunt of the law. Even if he was not the one who fired the shot, his complicity in this situation will likely leave him behind bars for a very long time.
The names of the officer and the other suspects have not been released. They will come out as the police department sees fit with regards to their investigation. Nothing should get in the way of the detectives’ work, not even our curiosity.