Man Shot By Kalispell Police Charged With Assault

Ryan Pengelly was shot by two Kalispell police officers after allegedly pointing a gun at them

By Justin Franz
The scene at Looking Glass Avenue in Kalispell on Jan. 12, 2016. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

The 30-year-old man shot by two Kalispell police officers last month has been charged with felony assault on a peace officer.

Flathead County Deputy County Attorney Stacy Boman filed the charge against Ryan Pengelly on Feb. 4, less than a month after he was injured in a shooting in his home on Looking Glass Avenue.

According to court documents, two Kalispell police officers were dispatched to a home northwest of Kalispell after receiving a report of a suicidal woman. After talking to the woman, the officers attempted to get her to go to the hospital with them. When she retreated inside the house, one of the officers grabbed her arm and the woman called for her son.

Pengelly emerged from a back room of the house with a loaded rifle and allegedly pointed the weapon at the two officers. The officers told Pengelly to drop the gun and when he did not follow orders, they opened fire. The two officers fired six shots, four of which struck Pengelly.

Following the shooting, Pengelly was taken to the hospital for surgery. He survived and in an interview with law enforcement after the shooting he said the officers did not give him enough time to drop the weapon before they opened fire.

“That’s probably what I did wrong, I pointed the rifle at him, it was wrong,” Pengelly told investigators. “If I would have known it was a police officer I would have put it down immediately.”

The shooting was investigated by the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, per Kalispell Police Department policy. A week later, Sheriff Chuck Curry announced that the two officers – Sgt. Chad Zimmerman and Officer Eric Brinton – acted appropriately and were cleared of any wrongdoing.

Pengelly served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan in the U.S. Army and earned several medals. In 2012, Pengelly and his wife were surprised with the new house on Looking Glass Avenue as a part of Operation Finally Home, a nonprofit group that builds houses for wounded veterans who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan.

If convicted, Pengelly could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $50,000. A date has not been set for his arraignment.

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