Missoula County Coverage

Nov 27, 2013 5:45 PM by Dennis Bragg, Brenda Bassett - KPAX News

Missoula shooting stemmed from undercover drug operation

MISSOULA - Authorities say an undercover police officer and a suspect are both in the hospital after a shooting on South Reserve Street, but neither man is suffering from life-threatening injuries.

The gunfire erupted at around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in the parking lot of the Langley Building. A Missoula County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman saying the undercover Missoula officer - along with others from the local drug task force - had contacted the suspect when the shots were fired.

Investigators initially said the suspect fired at an undercover Missoula officer and that a second officer returned fire but the Sheriff's Office has now clarified the details - saying the suspect fired at the officer, who returned fire with no other officer involved.

The wounded officer and the suspect were taken to the hospital, and authorities say that no one else was injured in the gunfire.

Deputies and police sealed off the scene and are continuing to look for a second person of interest. That man is described at 6' tall, weighing 220-pounds with a stocky build. He was last seen wearing a black hat and black coat. It's thought he may be Hispanic or Native American.

The suspect was last seen in the alley behind the Shopko store, and it's not known whether he may be armed or considered dangerous.

More than a dozen people who were in the parking lot and inside the Langley Building at the time of the shooting have been detained while officers continue to take statements.

This is the second shooting involving the drug task force within the last six months.

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