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Montana Sheriff's Deputy Killed In Shooting Near Three Forks

Broadwater County sheriff’s deputy Mason Moore was shot and killed on the morning of May 16 near Three Forks.
Broadwater County Sherrif's Dept.

A Montana sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed during an early morning traffic stop Tuesday.

Broadwater County sheriff’s deputy Mason Moore was shot and killed Tuesday morning near Three Forks. Two Belgrade men — a father and a son — are being held after a shootout with police.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin says Broadwater County dispatch lost contact with Moore shortly after he radioed-in to announce he was initiating a routine traffic stop:

“The dispatcher was unable to get a hold of the deputy, contacted us, and Highway Patrol was first on scene. We [Gallatin County] was second on scene. We found the deputy had been shot and killed. We immediately called for backup. We had no information and no one else was on scene.”

So the first responders turned to technology to identify the suspects:

“We got the camera out of the police car," Gootkin says. "We were able to identify the vehicle and get the information out across the state. That’s when Butte-Silverbow located the vehicle and that’s when they started to pursue.”

Butte-Silver Bow County Sheriff Ed Lester says the suspects fired shots at officers who pursued them for over 100 miles across parts of five counties.

The chase ended about 35 miles east of Missoula.

Officers say the passenger, 39-year-old Marshall Barrus of Belgrade, got out of the vehicle and shot at officers who returned fire and wounded him.

Barrus’ father, 61-year-old Lloyd Barrus, was arrested on suspicion of deliberate homicide.

Marshall Barrus (L) was shot in the head and hospitalized yesterday. He died this afternoon in a Missoula hospital. Lloyd Barrus (R), was charged in Missoula County today.
Credit Broadwater County Sherrif's Dept.
Marshall Barrus (L) was shot by police and taken to the hospital. Lloyd Barrus (R) was arrested and booked into the Missoula County Jail.

Gallatin County Sheriff Gootkin says 38-year-old Deputy Mason Moore is survived by his wife and three children:

“Do me a favor and if you see a peace officer around, smile and wave at them. We could use it this week,” Gootkin says.

Montana’s U.S.  Senators Jon Tester, Steve Daines and Montana Attorney General Tim Fox all released statements honoring Mason Moore’s sacrifice and memory.

Moore had been a deputy for three years and is the 129th Montana law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty since 1878.

O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the University of Montana School of Journalism. His first career job out of school was covering the 1995 Montana Legislature. When the session wrapped up, O’Brien was fortunate enough to land a full-time position at the station as a general assignment reporter. Feel free to drop him a line at
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