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Shooting suspects apprehended after gunfight


May 16, 2017

A sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed  near Three Forks early this morning. The shooting occurred during a traffic stop. KXLF reported this morning.

An ensuing chase and shootouts with Montana officers from four counties and the Montana Highway Patrol ended with the apprehension of two suspects.

Immediately after the fatal shooting of the Broadwater County officer, Butte-Silver Bow emergency dispatch was notified of the incident, and roughly 30 minutes later, Butte officers found the suspect vehicle, BSB Sheriff Ed Lester said in a press release.

Three Butte-Silver Bow police units began to pursue a suspect white Chevy Suburban. The chase ensued westbound on I-90 near the Continental Drive interchange. The Suburban was a 1998 and it bore California plates, the release noted.

The pursuit reached speeds of 100 miles-per-hour as it rushed westbound on I-90 through Butte-Silver Bow County, Deer Lodge County, Powell County, and then Granite County, Lester wrote.

The Suburban’s tires were deflated at mile marker 126 on I-90 in Granite County. The suspects in the SUV opened fire on pursing officers. Fire came at the officers from at least one semi-automatic rifle. Two Butte-Silver Bow patrol cars were “rendered inoperable,” the sheriff noted.

The pursuit then continued on I-90 into Missoula County. At mile marker 129 the Suburban came to a stop, and the suspects opened fire on the pursing officers. Officers returned fire. One suspect was shot in the head. The other  “sustained a gunshot related injury to one of his hands,” the release said.

One suspect is in custody, and the other is receiving medical treatment in Missoula, the release said.

Butte police attempted to stop the Suburban with Stop Sticks as the vehicle crossed from Harrison Avenue to Montana Avenue, but two semi-trucks preceeded the suspect vehicle, and the strings on the Stop Stick devices were raised and became entagled by the large trucks, the Sheriff wrote.

"The men and women of the Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement Department extend our sincerest condolences to Sheriff Meehan, the Broadwater County Sheriff’s Department, and the family of the fallen deputy,” Sheriff Lester wrote.

The Associated Press, citing the Broadwater County Sheriff's office, identified the the fallen officer as Mason Moore. He was 38. He is survived by his wife and three children. He was a three-year veteran of the Sheriff's office, the AP story said.

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