GREAT FALLS - The Great Falls Police Department (GFPD) hosted a news conference on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, to release details about Tuesday's incident that resulted in a police officer and a suspect being shot.
Police Chief Jeff Newton said that an officer attempted a routine traffic stop on Tuesday at about 3:50 p.m. near 13th Avenue South and 17th Street. The vehicle did not stop and drove away, and the officer did not give chase.
Another officer saw the suspect vehicle a few minutes later near Sixth Avenue South and 14th Street, and the two people in the vehicle ran away on foot.
A third officer saw the suspects in the vicinity of Fifth Avenue South and 12th Street and began chasing them on foot; according to Newton, one suspect then turned and fired several shots at the officer.
The officer was hit and seriously injured; another officer drove the injured officer to Benefis Health System. Newton said that the officer's injuries are serious, but not life-threatening; he sustained gunshots to his body armor and to his right arm.
The male suspect — identified by Newton as 37-year-old Jacob Kane Bradley — was then confronted by another officer and was shot in the head. According to Newton, Bradley's injuries are critical.
Both the officer and the suspect remain hospitalized. The names of the officers involved have not been released at this point.
Newton said that Bradley is currently on parole from Yellowstone County. Bradley has not yet been charged for Tuesday's shooting, pending his discharge from the hospital.
According to the Montana Department of Corrections, Bradley has felony convictions for criminal endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child, accountability for theft, and escape.
The other suspect, identified as Nikki Snell, remained at the scene and is facing charges of criminal possession of dangerous drugs; unlawful possession of a firearm by a prohibited person; and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
As of Wednesday afternoon, officers were continuing to investigate several crime scenes associated with the incident.
Newton expressed his appreciation to other agencies for their assistance, including the Cascade County Sheriff's Office; Adult Parole & Probation; US Marshals Service, Department of Homeland Security investigations; Great Falls Fire Rescue; Great Falls Emergency Services; Benefis Health System; and the entire Great Falls community for its support.
The Montana Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) has been asked to conduct an investigation into the incident, which is standard when officers are involved in such shootings.