NewsCrime and Courts


Suspect killed after 9-hour standoff with police in Billings

Posted at 2:42 PM, Apr 23, 2021

(12:30 a.m. Saturday) Law enforcement in Billings shot and killed a suspect after a nine-hour standoff at a Billings West End residence late Friday night.

Billings Police Chief Rich St. John said officers used multiple methods to try to flush the man out of the residence on the 4000 block of Ridgewood Lane South, including chemical agents, robots and drones, but none were successful. A Billings Fire Department ladder truck was also used to try to spot the suspect in the house.

Eventually, the Yellowstone County SWAT team broke into the residence just after 11 p.m. and found the suspect in the attic. The man charged at the officers, then ran away, then gunfire was exchanged and he was killed, St. John said. No officers were injured, St. John said.

The investigation is ongoing, and police have not released information on specific points, including how many shots were fired and which officers were involved.

St. John also had no more information on a dead man found in a vehicle that the suspect crashed before fleeing into the residence.

In addition, St. John confirmed that no other people were at the residence. Initial reports from police indicated that a woman was with the suspect, but St. John said officers likely heard a woman's voice on speaker phone while talking with him, and no one else was with him. The home was also vacant when the suspect broke in, and no hostages were taken.

As is the case with every officer-involved shooting, the state Division of Criminal Investigation will investigate the incident, St. John said.

Police are also investigating whether the suspect was involved in the shooting of a woman on King Avenue East Monday. The woman was shot in the head and survived after several rounds were fired through an apartment door.

Authorities are working into the weekend to comb over multiple crime scenes stemming from the initial call around 2 p.m. Friday. A Montana Highway Patrol trooper began pursuit of the man near Laurel, and he drove into Billings.

He crashed his vehicle at a roundabout on Shiloh Crossing Boulevard before fleeing into a neighborhood and breaking into the home. Police are also investigating several nearby residences, where it appears the man tried to shoot into the door to break in, St. John said.

(4:05 p.m. Friday) One man is dead after a high-speed chase and crash, and two suspects are holed up in a Billings West End home with possible hostages Friday afternoon, Police Chief Rich St. John said.

Billings hostage negotiators are currently in contact as of 4 p.m. with the two suspects, a male and a female, who broke into a residence on the 4000 block of Ridgewood Lane South with the residents inside, St. John said at a briefing Friday afternoon.

The incident began around 2 p.m. near Laurel, when a Montana Highway Patrol trooper began pursuing a van driven by one of the suspects, St. John said. The man is possibly connected to the recent shooting of woman at a residence on King Avenue East, he said.

The van fled east into Billings and crashed at a roundabout on Shiloh Crossing Boulevard near the corner of 43rd Street West and Avenue E. The two suspects fled the crash and were seen checking front doors in the neighborhood before they found one unlocked, St. John said.

Police discovered a body in the van at the crash scene but are uncertain whether the man died in the crash or before, St. John said.

Negotiators are in contact with the people inside the house and have brought the suspects food and cigarettes, he said.

“Emotions are probably running very high right now,” he said.

St. John said he will provide another briefing later in the day.

(2:40 p.m.) A large law enforcement presence has gathered for a possible standoff on Ridgewood Lane South in west Billings Friday afternoon.

The Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office SWAT team, Montana Highway Patrol troopers and Billings police are on the scene.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.