BILLINGS – A 24-year-old man was shot and killed by police in Billings on Friday night.
At approximately 11:15 p.m. Friday, officers were dispatched to a residence at the 100 block on Cricket Lane on a report from a caller that a man was causing problems.
Before officers arrived, the situation escalated as the suspect used his flatbed pickup to ram the caller’s car twice before leaving the area. The caller was the suspect’s ex-girlfriend and was not injured.
Approximately 10 minutes after speaking with the caller, the responding officer was doing reports in his car when the suspect’s vehicle turned down Cricket Lane, presumably heading back to callers residence. The officer turned his lights on and attempted to stop the suspect.
The suspect failed to comply with the officer’s orders, backed up and sped away heading east on Central Avenue. At about 11:40 p.m., officers pursued but the suspect failed to stop.
Officers discontinued the chase within 30 seconds after learning who the suspect was, what he was driving, that he may have been headed to a residence on Bunting Street, that he was intoxicated, and possibly armed with a knife.
The suspect was last seen at that time heading south on South Billings Boulevard.
An officer parked at Newman Elementary School saw the vehicle headed north at a high rate of speed with its lights off. Officers again attempted to stop the suspect but he again fled.
The chase made its way up to Moore Lane, onto Laurel Road, around some side streets, and onto Central Avenue. Recorded speeds on Central Avenue were around 60 mph. Officers attempted to set up spikes but could not get into position.
The chase was terminated again with the suspect last seen heading east on Monad Road.
Officers received information that the suspect may have been heading to his mother’s house on Bunting Street. As they were heading to the residence, they saw the suspect’s vehicle now obeying all traffic laws and headed toward that area.
At approximately 12:10 a.m., officers arrived at 465 Bunting St. and observed the suspect parked in a parking lot. The suspect was slumped over the wheel and not obeying commands.
Officers placed spikes behind the suspect’s back tires and positioned their vehicles in a “Red Stop” position. All vehicles were marked patrol cars with their lights activated.
Officers identified themselves, gave loud verbal commands, and at one point introduced pepper spray into the suspect’s vehicle with no effect. These efforts went on for about 3 minutes. Then, the suspect woke up.
He continued to disobey commands and was seen leaning over and reaching into the glove box. He then unexpectedly and rapidly accelerated backwards, striking a patrol car and spinning it just under 180 degrees.
The suspect continued to cross the parking lot and hit a parked minivan, knocking it onto the sidewalk. He then accelerated forward, struck the same patrol car again and pushed it into another patrol car.
Officers had to jump out of the way and scatter to avoid getting hit.
At 12:13 a.m. five officers, two using patrol rifles and three using handguns, fired at the vehicle, striking the suspect multiple times. The number of shots fired and whether or not the suspect had a weapon is unknown.
Officers secured the suspect and rendered first aid until medical personnel arrived. It was later determined the suspect was deceased.
The officers were uninjured and nobody else was involved.
Multiple cars were damaged, including two patrol cars. The patrol car that was struck twice sustained severe damage.
In accordance with department policy, the officers involved are on administrative leave.
A positive identification of the suspect was made but it is being withheld until his family is notified.
Police said the suspect was a 24-year-old man with addresses in both Billings and Hardin, but have not yet released his name.
The officers involved were Tyler Bishop with 4 years experience, Jeremiah Adams with 4 years experience, Cory Kirkpatrick with 7 years experience, Jeff Stoval with 4 years experience and Trey Malcolm who is in training with 2 months Billings Police experience.
MTN’s Jeanelle Slade