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Missoula crash leads to police chase, gunfire

Posted at 1:55 PM, Sep 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-20 15:38:37-04

MISSOULA, Mont. – A suspect is behind bars after pulling a gun following an accident on Missoula’s northside and then leading police on a pursuit that ended with gunfire.

The incident began when police were called to the scene of a crash in the 900 block of North Orange Street just before 3:30 a.m. Thursday.

Missoula police spokesman Sgt. Travis Welsh said one of those involved in the accident told 911 dispatchers that a driver pulled out a handgun and fired it following the crash.

A short time later, officers learned that the same man pulled up next to another vehicle where he again brandished a handgun. The driver sped away when they saw the gun, Welsh said.

Officers later found a blue Chevrolet pickup truck which matched the suspect vehicle description, but when they tried to pull it over the driver refused to stop and fled from officers.

Police chased the suspect through the northwest part of the city until the driver stopped on Otis Street where he got out of the truck with a gun in his hand.

Welsh said as officers attempted to apprehend the suspect there was an exchange of gunfire before he dropped the weapon and walked away, ignoring officer’s commands.

The suspect was finally taken into custody after a brief struggle. No injuries were reported.

Welsh said a “use of force” investigation is being conducted by the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation in conjunction with the criminal investigation by Missoula police.