BILLINGS – Billings police say the man involved in a Sunday afternoon shooting was known to the department as a registered violent offender.
“We knew that if we were to run into him that there was a high propensity for violence,” said Chief Rich St. John.
At a Monday morning press conference, St. John said officers shot and killed 26-year-old Chance Mavity of Shepherd as he fired multiple rounds at officers.
The incident happened Sunday afternoon when officers were called to a pawn shop on First Avenue North where three individuals were attempting to sell stolen guns.
When officers arrived, Mavity took off on foot. St. John said officers Kody Kaiser and Brad Mansur followed Mavity and commanded him to stop.
Mavity did not comply with the officer’s instructions and instead raised a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and fired back at officers Kaiser and Mansur.
St. John said that gunfire was exchanged, with Kaiser firing 15 rounds and Mansur firing four rounds.
“I think the shooting itself was very rapid. The audio I heard, they spent several minutes giving instructions,” said St. John.
Mavity died on the scene before emergency responders arrived.
“Our officers will use deadly force until the threat is gone and that’s what they did,” said St. John.
Both officers have been placed on administrative leave, per department protocol.
St. John said the incident took place out of view of dam cameras and that patrol officers do not have body cameras, but there were audio recordings of the incident.
Mavity has a lengthy criminal history, according to St. John, with warrants out of Missoula County. St. John said recently at an officer daily briefing there was an “officer caution alert” put out concerning Mavity.
The two other individuals who were also at the pawn shop were interviewed, but no arrests were made, said St. John.
Once the investigation wraps up, the case will head to the Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office for a coroner’s inquest.
-Andrea Lutz reporting for MTN News