KALISPELL — A man died following a police pursuit on Wednesday night that ended in Lake County.
Kalispell Police responded to the southwest side of the city for a report of a disturbance involving a weapon at approximately 10:30 p.m.
Officers arrived on scene and were told by a resident that a man was randomly yelling from his vehicle. The resident went outside and asked the man to stop since people were trying to sleep.
The resident told law enforcement that there was a verbal exchange before the man eventually got out of the vehicle and pointed an assault-rifle type weapon at him. The suspect then allegedly fired rounds in the air and left the scene, according to a news release.
While officers were investigating, the scene the suspect vehicle drove and when KPD initiated a traffic stop the driver failed to stop for law enforcement.
“Due to the extreme concern for public safety, Kalispell Police Officers pursued the vehicle. The suspect vehicle fled south on Highway 93 at high speeds,” Kalispell Chief of Police Doug Overman said in a statement.
The pursuit continued into Lake County before a Montana Highway Patrol trooper was able to successfully utilize stop sticks to disable the vehicle. The vehicle eventually came to a stop, but the driver did not respond to verbal commands.
A Flathead County Sheriff’s Office deputy was able to deploy a drone and inspect the vehicle further. It is believed the driver had taken his own life. The man has been identified as a 22-year-old Kalispell resident. His name has not been released pending family notification.
The death investigation is being conducted by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office. The crash investigation is being handled by the Montana Highway Patrol.