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Coroner's inquest clears Granite Co. deputy involved in fatal shooting

Posted at 2:51 PM, Dec 29, 2020

PHILIPSBURG — A coroner's inquest into the shooting involving a Granite County Sheriff's deputy determined a 48-year-old Missoula man did NOT die by criminal means.

Granite County Sheriff Scott Dunkerson reports that on Monday a coroner's inquest jury found that Salvatore Friscia Jr. did not die by criminal means when he was shot by Deputy Thaddeus Smith.

The shooting occurred on April 16 after dispatch received a report of a suspect using his vehicle to ram other vehicles at Sunshine Station on Highway 1.

An earlier news release indicated Smith and an FWP game warden responded, but they could not stop the suspect before he hit another vehicle and the deputy's patrol vehicle. Smith then fired his weapon to stop Friscia.

The deputy and the game warden were uninjured.

Dunkerson reports that Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Coroner presided over the inquest.