Creston Standoff Continues

By Beacon Staff

UPDATE 3/18/08 Creston Man Surrenders after Standoff.

UPDATE: 4:50 PM After nearly 27 hours of negotiations, a standoff was still under way late Monday afternoon at a Creston area house with a man suspected of killing his girlfriend.

There was little action throughout the afternoon as special assault weapons teams maintained positions surrounding the home on Montana 35 where Robert Kowalski, 46, has been hiding since Sunday afternoon. Authorities crouched behind Kalispell police’s new armored vehicle around 20 feet from the front door of the home and used a megaphone and a robot to try to communicate with Kowalski throughout the day.

Authorities first surrounded the home around 2 p.m. Sunday, after receiving a 911 call from Kowalski’s roommate Sunday morning reporting that Kowalski told him he shot his girlfriend and was feeling suicidal. Kowalski’s girlfriend Lorraine K. Morin, 45, was found shot to death Sunday in her home on Montana 206, near Elk Park Road.

Officers continued to detour traffic on Montana 35 between Fairmont and Montford roads.

UPDATE: 12:05 PM A standoff with a man suspected of killing his girlfriend that began Sunday afternoon was still underway late Monday morning at a Creston-area home.

Flathead and Missoula county special weapons assault teams continued negotiations with Robert Kowalski, 46, at his residence on Montana 35 between Evergreen and Creston.

Kowalski’s roommate called 911 at about 11 a.m. Sunday to report that Kowalski told him he shot his girlfriend and was feeling suicidal. The girlfriend, identified Monday morning as Lorraine K. Morin, 45, was found shot to death Sunday in her home on Montana 206, near Elk Park Road.

Officers surrounded Kowalski’s house at about 2 p.m. Sunday, and disabled his pickup so it could not run. Police were unable to confirm if Kowalski was in the home, until about 7 p.m., when a SWAT team broke some windows to pull back curtains and Kowalski began swearing at them.

Attempts to negotiate through the night, including several phone calls, went unanswered. Kowalski reportedly fired a single shot from within the house near midnight, but was seen moving around the house again around 3 a.m., authorities said.

Circumstances surrounding Morin’s death are still unavailable. She is the mother of six children, ages 9 to 28. The younger children being cared for by the older siblings, authorities said.

Montana 35 is closed between Fairmont and Montford roads.

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