Crime

Officials Identify Man Killed in Officer-Involved Shooting

Isaiah Strong, 41, was shot by a Kalispell Police Department officer after assaulting her with a large wood object

By Andy Viano
Kalispell Police Department police car as seen on August 14, 2020. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) has released additional information on an officer-involved shooting at a Kalispell gas station Friday night that left a suspect dead and an uninvolved woman briefly hospitalized.

According to a press release issued Monday afternoon, 41-year-old Isaiah Strong of Kalispell was shot and killed by Officer Brady Gray of the Kalispell Police Department (KPD) after attacking her and one other person. Gray is a two-year veteran of the force and has been placed on paid administrative leave per department policy. Because the shooting involved a KPD officer, the county sheriff’s office has taken over the investigation.

The incident began just before 10 p.m. Friday when law enforcement was alerted to a red SUV that was intentionally ramming other vehicles. KPD responded to an area near U.S. Highway 93 and Cemetery Road and the unoccupied vehicle was later located at a nearby gas station parking lot.

Inside the gas station, Strong allegedly came out of the bathroom and charged at Officer Gray swinging a large wood object, described as a short baseball bat or “tire thumper.” Strong then attacked a patron before turning back to Gray, striking her in the upper body and head. The press release from FCSO said that “being assaulted a second time and without immediate backup,” Gray responded with gunfire, killing Strong.

An uninvolved bystander was also injured during the altercation after being struck in the lower leg by a bullet. Gray and the uninvolved woman were both hospitalized following the incident. The bystander’s injuries were described as non-life threatening. Gray was treated and released.

Strong’s body has been transported to the Montana State Crime Lab for an autopsy. The incident remains under investigation by FCSO.

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