BUTTE – The man accused of firing several shots in an Uptown Butte office building before leaping from a second story window remains hospitalized with several broken bones.
“He’s under armed guard at the hospital, we have an officer guarding him right now. We’ll have him guarded until charges are filed and we have him brought over to the detention center,” said Butte Undersheriff George Skuletich.
The 28-year-old Butte man, armed with a 9 mm handgun, first entered the lobby of the police station about 4:30 in the afternoon yelling that he was in danger and being chased. He left the station and ran across the street into the Synesis7 office building where he threatened to shoot people, before locking himself in one of the offices. He then shot through a window and jumped out.
“They heard the shots fired, four of our officers, actually, once he hit the ground were able to secure him right away. He had the gun with him at the time coming through the window. It was on the ground about five feet away from him,” said Skuletich.
Police are trying to determine if the gunman was having a mental health issue or under the influence of drugs.
“He was paranoid, he was ranting, it wasn’t that he came in to do a specific thing, I don’t think, in our building. It wasn’t like he was after somebody or some type of rage against the police department, it wasn’t anything like that,” the undersheriff said.
Butte is not a town that sees many active shooter situations, but that doesn’t stop law enforcement from routinely training for such a situation. And while Thursday’s violence was going down, Butte police were here at Central High School conducting active shooter training.
“They were all geared up when they got here, they had shields and all the equipment. Our officers ran right to the threat like their training tells them to do. They did a good job, they didn’t hesitate going into that building trying to locate the male with the gun,” said Skuletich. “Once they did locate him and secure him they were able to evacuate the rest of the people in the building.”
No one other than the gunman was injured in the incident and police fired no shots. Police did not release the identity of the suspect Friday as possible charges are pending.
Reporting by John Emeigh for MTN News