Montana Public Radio

Sheriff's Deputy Kills Armed Man In East Helena

Feb 2, 2018

A Lewis and Clark County sheriff's deputy responding to a request for a welfare check on a suicidal man ended with the deputy shooting and killing the man.

Sheriff Leo Dutton says 911 received a call late Thursday night from a woman who said her boyfriend had self-inflicted injuries. The man had a pistol when several crisis intervention-trained deputies responded.

"They did a lot of work to accomplish the task of just getting the gentleman to the emergency room," Dutton says. "He had not committed a crime and they were just trying to get him help. But, they couldn't help him while he was doing things to himself or the deputies."

Dutton says the deputies tried to negotiate with the man for more than an hour, but were unable to get him to put down the gun. The sheriff says the man's actions led the deputy to shoot him to protect himself and others.

The deputy is on administrative leave and Dutton has asked Montana's Division of Criminal Investigation to investigate. The names of the victim and the deputy involved have not been released. The six deputies that responded were not injured.