MISSOULA – The man who led Missoula Police on a chase after crashing his car and getting into a gunfight with officers says he suffers from PTSD and was trying to provoke cops into shooting and killing him.
26-year-old Donald Stebbins made his initial appearance Friday in Missoula County Justice Court, where he faces two felony assault counts for using a gun.
Prosecutors say the confrontation started early Thursday morning when police received a call from someone saying they were just threatened with a handgun at the intersection of Worden and North 5th Street West in Missoula.
Police found the suspect’s pickup, but when they tried to pull Stebbins over he took off, the chase ending at a dead end on Otis Street. Prosecutors say that’s when Stebbins got out of the truck and fired one round at officers. One Missoula Police officer returned fire with multiple shots until Stebbins dropped his gun and tried to walk away before being tackled by officers.
The Missoula County Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation are looking into whether the officer was justified for using his gun.
Stebbins remains in custody on $100,000 bail.