EASH HELENA - A man is dead after being shot by a Lewis & Clark County Sheriff’s deputy on Thursday night.
Lewis & Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said that at around 10:30 p.m. deputies were called to a home on the 2600 block of Casper Drive in the Eastgate Village area just outside East Helena.
A caller said that a man at that residence was cutting himself and talking about suicide. The caller later said the injured man was armed with a handgun. When deputies arrived, Dutton said they spent 45 minutes to an hour trying to negotiate with the man.
“He wasn’t under arrest,” he said. “They wanted to help him. They pleaded with him to put down the gun. Unfortunately, he forced the hand of a deputy.”
Just before midnight, Dutton said the deputy had to fire his weapon to protect himself and other people at the scene. The man died at the scene. His name has not been released at this point. None of the deputies or bystanders involved were injured.
“It’s terrible that the deputies have to go through that,” Dutton said. “Our condolences to the family of the young man as well.”
Dutton said the deputy is on administrative leave as is standard procedure.
He has requested assistance from the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation to assist in the investigation, which is routine whenever an officer is involved in a shooting.