MISSOULA - We reached out to the Missoula Police Department for a response to the rally. They sent us an email statement saying MPD is working to communicate directly with Galbreath's family.
The full statement reads: "Any time there is a critical incident involving police and community members it sends a ripple effect through our town and state. The critical incident involving Brendon Galbreath is no different. The events that transpired the morning of August 12, 2021, will forever impact Brendon’s family, friends, and the officers involved. Missoula Police Department recognizes the different emotions, questions, and feelings that arise from family, friends, and the community surrounding the time of Brendon’s passing.
Missoula Police Department is aware of the concern and questions different people are asking. Investigations take time. It is only fair to Brendon and his family to have the investigation done thoroughly and correctly. Our hope is while the investigation is ongoing, people can come together to support one another.
The Missoula Police Department requested the Montana Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation to conduct the critical incident investigation. This request was made by Chief White because of the nature of the incident and wanting to make sure the incident was investigated impartially. Additionally, upon receiving the Division of Criminal Investigation report, the Missoula Police Department will conduct and internal investigation based upon the independent facts provided in their investigation.
On August 16, 2021, the Division of Criminal Investigation issued an update on the investigation of this matter, including a preliminary finding of the cause of Brendon’s death.
Missoula Police Department hears your request. The Missoula Police Department is communicating directly with the Galbreath family in an effort to help them understand the events of Brendon’s death and the investigation process.
When additional details are available, they will be shared with the community. Until then, the information will remain, confidential criminal information to insure the Division of Criminal Investigation remains unbiased and independent."
ORIGINAL ARTICLE-A crowd gathered Thursday to rally and march for Brendon Galbreath who died a week ago after what police call a high-speed chase through Missoula that ended in an officer-involved shooting.
Investigators now say it appears Galbreath died by suicide but the family, and many others in Missoula, are asking for more information.
A crowd gathered on Thursday afternoon in Sacajawea Park near the scene where the 21-year-old Galbreath was involved in a shooting incident with Missoula Police. Galbreath died later that same morning in a Missoula hospital.
A preliminary investigation by the Montana Department of Justice shows Galbreath died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, but the family and community say they still have questions.
While the rally was taking place in Missoula, Galbreath's family laid him to rest at a funeral in Browning.
Marchers say they are showing support for the family's request to view bodycam and dashcam footage of the incident. Organizer Zuri Moreno spoke to the crowd at the march, saying family deserves to be treated with respect.
"We know that in the early morning of August 12th, Brendon lost his life. How did that happen?” Moreno said. “It is unacceptable, more than a week later, that we do not have answers. IIt is unacceptable that this family does not know what happened in those last moments in Brendon's life."
The Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) says this is still an active investigation, and officials are still assessing those videos, and awaiting autopsy and toxicology results.
According to a press release, on Aug. 12 a Missoula police officer reported seeing Galbreath raising a handgun, which coincided with the officer bringing out his gun. The DCI press release states that as the driver's gun discharged in the car, the police officer fired one shot, which struck the car.
Galbreath's family has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money so that an independent autopsy can be performed. March organizers say they are planning to rally again sometime on Friday in front of Missoula City Hall.