ANACONDA - Anaconda police suspect 52-year-old Troy Johnson bludgeoned to death 64-year-old Shelley Schafer during a robbery in her East Park Street residence sometime late Monday or early Tuesday. Johnson was finally arrested Wednesday morning in Butte after a long manhunt.
“It’s just a tragedy, you know, I hate to see anything like this happen, especially in a small town,” said Anaconda Police Chief Tim Barkell.
Investigators suspect Troy Johnson was living right next to the victim’s residence in this part of the duplex which had no utilities such as power or running water.
“There was a bed made there and Troy Johnson’s driver’s license was left inside there, we found jewelry box just outside the back door there. After talking with some witnesses we felt we had enough to get an arrest warrant,” Barkell said.
Police in Butte conducted a traffic stop on a car on Montana Street in Butte where Johnson was a passenger. The female driver got out of the car and Johnson drove away with the vehicle before crashing at Holmes Avenue and Hanson Road.
“He excited the vehicle, our officer who was first on scene, believed he was pointing a weapon at him, our officer fired multiple rounds at the suspect who was able to escape on foot in a westerly direction,” said Butte Sheriff Ed Lester.
The manhunt continued for the next four hours that included the help of a helicopter.
“They were searching as well as our K-9 and one of our officers was able spot this guy just off of Little Basin Creek Road,” Lester said.
The manhunt finally came to an end here in a field off of Little Basin Creek Road where police say Johnson lunged at officers with a knife and had to be subdued with a taser. Sheriff Lester said he’s convinced Johnson had no intension of surrendering peacefully.
“In my opinion I think he wanted to end it in a hail of gunfire with police and realistically he damn near got his wish,” Lester said.
Johnson is expected to be charged with deliberate homicide in Anaconda and could face charges in Butte. The Department of Criminal Investigation is assisting in this case since a Butte officer fired his gun during the arrest.
ANACONDA – A 64-year-old Anaconda woman was found murdered in her East Part Street home Tuesday and Butte police have the man suspected of that murder in custody.
Anaconda Police Chief Tim Barkell said police found Shelley Schafer dead from wounds to the head in her residence, a duplex at 709 E. Park Street about 1:50 p.m. Tuesday. On Wednesday, Butte police arrested Troy Johnson, 53, in connection with the Anaconda murder.
Investigators believe Schafer was hit with a blunt object at least two times in the head. The victim’s vehicle, credit cards, cash and some jewelry were missing. Johnson, who is from Billings, is believed to have been living in the duplex owned by the victim’s family without permission at the time of the murder, Barkell said.
Butte police were involved in a vehicle pursuit with Johnson about 3 a.m. Wednesday morning. During the pursuit, Johnson crashed the vehicle at Holmes Avenue and Hansen Road and ran away. Police captured him a few hours later and he remains in custody.
This is an on-going investigation and this story will be updated as new information becomes available.
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