GREAT FALLS — The Glacier County Sheriff's Office has released some information about a high-speed chase that ended with the suspect being shot in Valier.
The incident happened on Sept. 4 when deputies and officers with Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services began a chase of a suspect in Glacier County involving a reported stolen vehicle.
A news release from the Sheriff's Office says the suspect - whose name has not yet been released - had "also committed offenses in Browning."
The suspect reportedly tried to run several vehicles off the road by swerving into their lane and forcing them to move over to avoid a head-on collision. The Sheriff's Office said that the suspect was driving a gold four-door vehicle.
The suspect led the officers into the town of Valier in Pondera County, where the driver wound up driving into a dead-end. The suspect then got out of the vehicle and brandished a knife; a deputy then "fired his service weapon, hitting the suspect," according to the Sheriff's news release.
First-aid was rendered and the suspect was then taken to Benefis Health System in Great Falls for treatment; the nature and extent of the person's injuries has not been released. No officers were injured.
Agents with the Montana Department of Criminal Investigation are investigating the circumstances of the shooting. The deputy who shot the suspect has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in any such incident, pending the outcome of the investigation.
The Sheriff's Office and Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services ask that if you (or someone you know) were a victim of the suspect's "reckless behavior" during the chase, please contact the Sheriff's Office at 406-873-2711 and file a report. Ask for Captain Seifert or Sergeant Milender.
Schools in Valier briefly implemented a lock-down as a precaution as events unfolded, and posted the following message on its website:
- "All Valier school buildings were in lock down today (9/4/20) starting 1:10 pm, at the advice of the Sheriff's department, while police were in pursuit of a suspect. The incident was not related to the school, all students remained safe in their rooms until the Sheriff's department gave us the all clear, and students and staff did a great job! There will be no changes to the volleyball, football, or dismissal."
Julie Gaffney, the superintendent/principal, told us, "We're just glad that it was handled swiftly by the police and that the communication between the Sheriff's department and the school worked very, very well."