The state Justice Department is investigating an officer-involved shooting in Cut Bank that occurred Oct. 6 and left a 54-year-old man dead. The police officer who fatally shot the suspect was not injured.
According to a press release from the Montana Attorney General’s Office, the circumstances surrounding the shooting unfolded when Cut Bank Police Department officers responded to a report of a violation of an order of protection. Police arrived at the 200 block of 5th Avenue SW where “the respondent of the protection order exited his vehicle and confronted officers with a rifle. An officer fired his duty weapon, striking the suspect. The suspect, a 54-year-old male from Cut Bank, died from his wounds.”
The officer has been placed on administrative leave as the investigation proceeds, the release states.
“The identity of the officer and the decedent will not be released at this time,” according to the release.
The Glacier County Sheriff’s Office will conduct a coroner’s inquest when the investigation is complete to examine facts and evidence pertinent to the incident. The Cut Bank Police Department is conducting an internal investigation to ensure policy and use-of-force guidelines were followed.
“Upon the chief’s request, we immediately sent agents to Cut Bank to begin the investigation,” DCI administrator Bryan Lockerby stated in the press release. “Every investigation into an officer-involved shooting takes considerable time for us to process the scene and follow up with interviews, ballistics, and toxicology. We will be responsive, intentional, and thorough.”
According to a prepared statement from Cut Bank Police Chief Michael Schultz, the investigation remains in its early stages.
“We ask for patience as the investigations are conducted. As the Chief in Cut Bank, I have seen the impact incidents like this can have in a small community,” Schultz stated. “I also know how well small towns come together and support each other in a crisis. I ask that you please keep those involved, as well as their families, in your thoughts and prayers.”
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