GREAT FALLS — A person wanted on outstanding warrants and in connection with a fraud investigation died in Great Falls after being shot by a Cascade County Sheriff's deputy.
It happened along the 1400 block of 7th Avenue South at about 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, 2022.
Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter said that deputies were looking for the suspect, who had active warrants and was also a person of interest in a fraud investigation.
Slaughter said in a news release on Saturday evening that a deputy found the suspect in what appeared to be a disabled vehicle.
While the deputy was talking to the suspect, the suspect reportedly pulled a gun on the deputy; the deputy then shot the suspect.
Deputies and officers from the Great Falls Police Department performed CPR on the suspect until medical personnel arrived and took over treatment.
The suspect later died at the hospital. The identity of the person has not yet been released.
The GFPD is handling the investigation of the shooting and Dick Brown from Petroleum County is the coroner assigned to the death investigation.
The deputy, whose name has not yet been released, will be placed on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing, per standard procedure. An autopsy will be completed on the suspect in the upcoming days.
A man who asked to be identified only as Peter said he was working on his garden when he heard the shots: “I was out here looking to do my spring planting, and I come out and I saw the sheriff with his gun pulled and the guy fell out of his car, and he fell on the street. That was a nightmare. It was unreal. It shook me up, I’m still kind of shaking.”
Another resident, who identified herself as Bonnie, said prior to the shooting they saw the man who was shot and killed working on a car parked in the street as the deputy approached.
“We were sitting at the kitchen table, and we had the music really loud, and it sounded like a loud a knock at our door. I answered it and nobody was there and then I saw police with somebody on the ground. We realized it was gunshots that were fired. There were four of them. It wasn’t a knock at all. Kind of scary. It is kind of traumatizing when it’s in your own neighborhood,” Bonnie said.
Sheriff Slaughter said, "I ask to just pray for everyone involved. Pray for the family of the deceased, but also pray for our deputy, our deputy's family, and our staff, our dispatchers. These incidences are tough on everybody, and I ask that you take a few minutes and pray for them."
He also said of deputies: "We train them, and we trust them to do their job. This is always a possibility, that their worst day will occur and you have to support them when it does."
If you witnessed this incident or have information, you're asked to call Detective Keith Perkins of the GFPD at 406-455-8520.
We will update you when we get more information.
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