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Deputy involved in fatal Granite County shooting ID'd

Posted at 2:06 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 21:27:14-04

PHILIPSBURG — Authorities have released the name of the deputy who was involved in a fatal shooting near Philipsburg.

Granite County Sheriff Scott Dunkerson says deputy Thaddeus Smith was involved in the fatal shooting that happened on April 16 in Philipsburg. Dunkerson said in a news release that administrative staff have reviewed the video evidence and it appears that Sheriff’s Office policy and Montana law were followed during the incident.

Salvatore Friscia Jr., 48, living in the Missoula area died in the shooting and his body was taken to the Montana State Crime Lab in Missoula for autopsy. An earlier news release stated the investigation indicated drugs may have been a factor in the shooting.

According to Dunkerson, dispatchers received a report of a suspect using his vehicle to ram other vehicles at Sunshine Station on Highway 1 at around 7 p.m. on April 16. An earlier news release indicated that Deputy Smith and a FWP game warden responded to the incident but were unable to stop the suspect before he hit another vehicle and the deputy's patrol vehicle.

Smith then fired his weapon to stop the suspect.

The Montana Department of Criminal Investigation is continuing to investigate the fatal shooting.