13 Billings police officers on leave for 3 shootings cleared to - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

13 Billings police officers on leave for 3 shootings cleared to return to duty

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BILLINGS - All of the Billings police officers involved in a series of shootings over the past two months have been cleared to return to duty, according to BPD Lt. Neil Lawrence.

Lawrence said the 13 officers involved in the three incidents have either returned to duty or will be back to work later this week.

The department was stretched thin by the large leave of officers that overlapped after a series of incidents from October to November.

Two officers shot a man at the Lazy KT Motel in October after the man allegedly swung a shotgun in their direction.

The Billings man was injured in the shooting but survived. Lawrence said the suspect is in the Advanced Care Unit at a Billings hospital.

Eight officers fired shots during a standoff at Big Bear Sports Center in November.

The man, identified as Frank Half Jr., was killed by police after exchanging gunfire throughout the morning.

Lawrence said the five officers who discharged their weapons during a pursuit that ended on the Billings South Side in November have also been cleared.

Those officers shot and killed Preston David Bell after he allegedly drove at them with his vehicle.

Coroners inquests will likely be set for mid to late 2018, according to Lawrence.

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