NewsCrime and Courts

Actions

UPDATE: Suspect surrenders after 14 hour standoff with police

Officer shot remains in stable condition following surgery
Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the scene on Saturday
birch.png
Posted at 11:54 AM, Mar 18, 2023

Update 10:06 p.m.

According to a social media post from the Billings Police Department, after 14 hours, officers were able to convince the suspect to surrender without any further incident. The suspect is being evaluated by medical responders, and will be transported to the Yellowstone County Detention Facility when appropriate.

The post also says some of Birch Lane will continue to remain closed throughout the night.

________________________________________________

Update 8:31 p.m.

According to a social media post from the Billings Police Department, the water to Birch Lane will be shut off due to a broken water line near the suspect's home. The standoff is ongoing.

________________________________________________

Update 8:15 p.m.

Lt. Lennick told MTN News the wounded officer is out of surgery and in stable condition at a local hospital.

Twelve hours later, the suspect is still not cooperating, but both sides of her mobile home have been removed, according to Lt. Lennick.

Law enforcement say they are doing all they can to resolve the situation peacefully.

________________________________________________

Update 7:50 p.m.

Senator Daines released the following statement in response to the Billings officer wounded during the standoff:

“Cindy and I are sending our prayers to the Billings police officer who was shot today protecting the community. I’m closely monitoring the ongoing situation. This is the second shooting of a Montana police officer in less than two weeks — a tragic reminder of the sacrifice and selflessness of our Montana law enforcement officers who wake up every day and put their lives on the line to defend our local communities. We must back the blue.”

________________________________________________

Update 5:30 p.m.

The standoff continues and more agencies have joined in. A tactical team from Gallatin County recently arrived on the scene to assist the other agencies.

According to police, the detective who was shot is in stable condition at a local hospital.

MTN News was contacted by Shamica Stiles, who claims to be the daughter of the suspect. Stiles identified the suspect as Mary Whitecrane.

"She’s schizophrenic, bipolar, and I’m pretty sure she also has some PTSD in there," Stiles said on a video call on Saturday. "It’s really easy to get her worked up and to trigger those things in her."

Stiles said her mother suffers from mental health issues and is worried about what could happen.

"I'm afraid this is going to end deadly," Stiles said. "I love her and I don't want to be hurt."

Neighbors like Tony Smith are grateful for the agencies that are working to resolve the situation.

"Not so much (worried) when you see the presence that we have," Smith said on Saturday. "Talking to the officer, that’s still an active scene. So, I’m sure they’ll take care of it.”

More flashbangs were heard around 5:20 p.m. and it appeared some of the officers had been switched out after almost 10 hours on-scene.

This story continues to develop. Check back for updates.

________________________________________________

Update 1:00 p.m.

Here's what we currently know about the standoff and shooting:

Police Lt. Matt Lennick said the situation began Friday night when officers were called to the residence on Birch Lane, but he was not sure why the call was made or how that call was resolved.

Then, on Saturday morning shortly before 8 a.m., the department received calls of shots being fired from the same residence at neighboring homes.

While officers worked to convince the shooter to surrender, one was shot and wounded, Lennick said. That officer was being treated at the hospital and was in surgery early Saturday afternoon, Lennick said. The name of the officer has not been released, although Lt. Lennick states he is in the detective unit.

Police said the suspect is a woman, but her name has not been released.

Numerous officers from several agencies have since surrounded the residence and evacuated nearby residences. Officers have used flash bangs to try and force the suspect to surrender, but she continued to occasionally shoot from the house.

As of about 12:30 p.m. officers backed off to give her time to settle down, and some officers were seen leaving the area.

________________________________________________

Update 12:25 p.m.

Police have identified the shooter as a woman, and said the standoff started Saturday morning.

Here's the latest from the scene:

birch3.jpg
Standoff scene on Birch Lane
birch2.jpg
Police standoff on Birch Lane

________________________

Update 12:20 p.m.

Update 12:05 p.m.

Numerous emergency responders are currently at the scene.

Law enforcement is using every option available to try and get the suspect to surrender.

U.S. Marshalls, SWAT, and BPD are all on scene. Flash bangs can be heard as well as the hovering drone.

______________________

First Report

BILLINGS - A Billings police officer has been shot and officers remained engaged in a standoff Saturday at a residence on Birch Lane.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.