A 54-year-old Columbia Falls woman is in critical condition after being shot during a lengthy standoff with authorities on Thursday.
Michelle Gentry was shot twice after emerging from a residence on Eastland Crossroads with a handgun and advancing toward members of the Flathead County SWAT Team, according to the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office.
Gentry was transported to Kalispell Regional Medical Center where she is listed in critical condition.
The incident began around 2 p.m. Thursday when deputies from the sheriff’s office responded to a reportedly armed, suicidal female on Eastland Crossroads in Columbia Falls. Deputies were able to contact Gentry by phone and confirmed that she was armed and suicidal.
The female refused to exit the residence and negotiations were initiated, according to Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry. The SWAT team responded and established a perimeter around the residence and negotiations continued for nearly five hours without success. Gentry exited the residence with a handgun around 6:30 p.m. and advanced on SWAT team members. She was struck with two rounds fired by a SWAT deputy.
The Kalispell Police Department was requested to complete an outside investigation of the incident and process the scene. Pursuant to policy, the deputy involved in the shooting was placed on paid administrative leave pending completion of the investigation.
Curry said further information is pending the Kalispell Police investigation.
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