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1 killed, law enforcement officer injured in Trout Creek shooting

Posted at 4:50 PM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 18:50:50-05

TROUT CREEK — A man was killed and a law enforcement officer was injured after an incident at a Trout Creek bar that forced SWAT teams from Missoula and Flathead counties to respond to the scene.

The Montana Department of Justice (DOJ) reports the Sanders County law enforcement were called to the Naughty Pine Saloon for a man with a handgun and assault rifle who had barricaded himself inside.

A deputy responded and began negotiating with the man, but officials say he refused to cooperate, which resulted in help being requested from Missoula and Flathead SWAT teams.

The 35-year-old man eventually left the saloon, but officials report he had a firearm. While the DOJ reports less lethal rounds were used to try and stop the man, he attempted to flee and began firing at pursuing officers — one of whom was hit by the suspect.

DOJ reports law enforcement returned fire, fatally wounding the man. The wounded officer suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound and was transported to Kalispell Regional Medical Center for treatment.

The Sanders County Sheriff’s Office has requested that the Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI) to conduct an independent investigation of the shooting.

“These are always complex cases and will require thorough crime scene processing, extensive interviews, and a full assessment of the events leading up to the incident,” said DCI Administrator Bryan Lockerby. “With multiple law enforcement agencies involved and dynamic events happening, it takes a considerable amount of resources for a thorough and thoughtful investigation,” he added.

Once the investigation is complete, the case will be turned over to the Sanders County Attorney’s Office for review.