Great Falls Man Arrested After Shooting, Standoff

By Beacon Staff

GREAT FALLS – A 49-year-old Great Falls man has been charged with deliberate homicide after a report of a shooting led to an eight-hour standoff at an apartment complex.

Mark Frantzich was charged Monday in the shooting death of Lence Kent Mortenson. Mortenson, 32, was from Idaho Falls, Idaho, the Cascade County sheriff’s office said.

Great Falls police were called to the apartment complex Sunday morning after neighbors reported hearing gunfire.

When they arrived, they found a man who had been fatally shot in the head lying in a yard nearby.

But a suspect was nowhere in sight, said Lt. Jack Allen, and police learned a man, believed to be armed, had barricaded himself inside his apartment.

“We had tried to make phone contact with him, but it kept going to voicemail,” said Allen, one of the negotiators with the department’s High Risk Unit. “And then we just had to be patient.”

Neighbors were evacuated from surrounding homes, and police cordoned off the street and surrounded the building. Investigators feared someone could begin shooting from an apartment window, so sharpshooters were stationed on rooftops nearby.

Allen said negotiators were eventually able to make phone contact with Frantzich through a relative and peacefully coax him out of the apartment complex just before 6 p.m.

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