HELENA - The Lewis & Clark County Sheriff’s Office has identified Andrew Blythe as the deputy who fatally shot a man outside East Helena last week.
Blythe, 29, started with the Sheriff's Office as a detention officer in 2009 and became a sworn deputy in 2011.
Dutton said Blythe has received advanced training in crisis intervention and weapon retention and serves as one of the Sheriff’s Office’s "use of force" instructors for defensive tactics.
Deputies responded to a home in the 2600 block of Casper Drive late Thursday for a report of a man who was harming himself and talking about suicide.
Dutton said they spent about an hour negotiating with the man, who had a handgun. Eventually, he said, Blythe had to shoot the man to protect himself and others.
Lewis & Clark County Coroner Bryan Backeberg said he may release the man's on Monday.
Blythe is on administrative leave until the Sheriff’s Office conducts an internal investigation and he completes a fit-for-duty exam from a mental health therapist, as is standard procedure. Dutton said the administrative review could take up to two weeks.
Dutton also asked the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation to conduct a separate investigation of the shooting. He said that could take as long as six weeks.
Dutton said the final review will be a coroner’s inquest, which is done whenever an officer is involved in a fatal shooting.