As the Montana Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation (MTDOJ-DCI) and Toole County Sheriff’s Office continue their investigation into the incidents that took place in Toole County on April 22, the Great Falls Police Department (GFPD) has received approval to release information in regard to the GFPD involvement in the Mutual Aid Assist.
On Monday morning, April 22, the Toole County Sheriff’s Office made a mutual aid request to the GFPD, specifically requesting the GFPD High Risk Unit (HRU). Toole County Sheriff, Donna Whitt, advised her office was in the middle of a homicide investigation and had identified their suspect. They learned he had taken a female victim hostage at gunpoint, and secluded himself inside a residence within the City of Shelby. Toole County was requesting assistance in the hostage situation. The Toole County Sheriff’s Office had also obtained a Homicide Arrest Warrant for the male suspect.
The GFPD HRU responded to Shelby and supported the Toole County Sheriff’s Office. HRU members established a perimeter on the home. HRU negotiators were successful in negotiating the release of the female victim from within the Shelby residence. Upon her safe release, negotiators attempted to keep in further contact with the male suspect, but he would not respond to negotiations at that point.
While still inside home, the male suspect fired several rounds at HRU members. One HRU member was struck by one of the rounds fired by the suspect. The male suspect was moving towards the front door of the home with a firearm, continuing his imminent threat to the HRU members. The suspect was shot by one of the HRU members. The suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Another HRU member was injured during this operation as well. Both injured HRU members were treated for their injuries and released. Both are back to their normal assigned duties.
Following GFPD protocol, the HRU member involved in the shooting is on Administrative Leave status as they are progressing forward to reengagement into their primary functions. The GFPD strives to ensure that officers involved in traumatic events such as an Officer Involved Shooting are properly cared for. The Administrative Leave Status is not a disciplinary function in this matter.