MISSOULA – The man who authorities said gunned down a Montana deputy, leading officers on a high speed chase across the state, was also involved in a similar showdown 17 years ago.
61-year-old Lloyd Barrus is now facing 14 counts of attempted deliberate homicide for the chase, and two additional charges of accountability for attempted deliberate homicide for firing at pursing officers across five counties.
Authorities said Barrus and his son Marshall were responsible for shooting Broadwater County Sheriff’s deputy Mason Moore during an attempted traffic stop near Three Forks before they were arrested east of Missoula. Marshall died Wednesday from a gunshot wound to the head sustained in the police shootout Tuesday.
This isn’t the first time Barrus has fled from police in a bullet-riddled chase.
In 2000 Barrus, accompanied by a different son and a woman tried to get away from police on the California-Nevada border. According to research from the Anti-Defamation League, Barrus led dozens of officers on a 70-mile chase, shooting at his pursuers before his car got stuck in the mud.
The trio then took shelter in a rock-strewn gully, where they continued to fire at officers, striking a California Highway Patrol helicopter and forcing it to make an emergency landing. No one was hurt.
Barrus and the others give up after they were surrounded in the dark by SWAT teams.
ADL researchers believed Barrus served time in California for the incident, but there was no immediate information on that sentence.
Yesterday, MTN news reported Barrus’ Facebook and Twitter feeds are a collection of anti-government, militia and religious posts with frequent images of guns, hangings and skulls.
Missoula County prosecutors said Barrus had been “bragging about” the California incident after his arrest. Prospectors asked for bail to be set at $2 million.
MTN’s Dennis Bragg