GFPD releases name of officer shot in March 7 incident

The Great Falls Police Department has identified the officer involved in the March 7 shooting.

A routine traffic stop escalated into an incident in which Senior Police Officer Tanner Lee was shot in the chest and arm by a fleeing subject.

Lee’s body armor stopped the shots to the chest, but he sustained serious injury to his arm, according to GFPD.

He underwent surgery and has been released from the hospital, according to GFPD.

GFPD releases some details about March 7 shooting incident

“Though the prognosis is positive, he will need further medical care, likely more surgery and rehabilitation,” according to GFPD.

Lee is currently assigned to the Patrol Services Bureau as a patrol officer and is nearing his fourth anniversary with GFPD.

He and his wife, Harly, are both from Great Falls and have two children.

Lee graduated from Great Falls High School and holds a Bachelor’s degree in animal science from Montana State University.

In 2019, Lee was recognized with a GFPD Lifesaving Award for the actions he and two other GFPD officers took, saving the life of a suicidal female, according to GFPD.

Updated: GFPD responding to “serious incident;” officer, suspect shot

“Our department is dedicated to lending continued support to Officer Lee and his family, as they move forward. We are proud to serve the Great Falls community and are grateful for the continued support for the department and Officer Lee,” according to GFPD.

The Montana Department of Justice – Division of Criminal Investigation is still investigating the incident.

Details of the event will only be released with authorization from DCI and on March 13, DCI authorized the release of Lee’s name.

On March 7, a GFPD officer initiated a traffic stop near 17th Street and 13th Avenue South.

GFPD Chief Jeff Newton said during a March 8 press briefing that it was a routine traffic stop.

The vehicle failed to yield and the officer did not pursue the vehicle.

A few minutes later, a second officer saw the vehicle near the 1400 block of 6th Avenue South where the suspects abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot, according to GFPD.

It appeared there were two people in the vehicle, according to GFPD.

A third GFPD officer located the two suspects near 12th Street and 5th Avenue South.

One of the suspects, identified as Jacob Bradley, 37, ran and the officer pursued on foot.

According to GFPD, after a short distance, Bradley allegedly turned and fired several rounds at Lee, striking him in his body armor and the right arm, according to Newton.

Officers on the scene performed tactical medical procedures and transported Lee to the hospital in a patrol car.

Bradley allegedly fled the area and was confronted by another GFPD officer within a block, where several shots were fired and the suspect was shot in the head and his injuries are critical, according to GFPD. He was transported to the hospital by ambulance.

Bradley was on parole out of Yellowstone County at the time of the incident and charges related to the March 7 incident are pending, according to local law enforcement.

According to the Montana Department of Corrections, Bradley has a criminal record including convictions for criminal endangerment, escape, accountability for theft and endangering the welfare of children. The charges were in Yellowstone and Lewis and Clark counties.

In 2019, he was charged with escape in Yellowstone County for kicking out the back of a patrol car and running from police.

The second occupant of the vehicle was identified as Nikki Snell, who remained on scene and has been charged with criminal possession of dangerous drugs, unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted person and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, according to GFPD.

County Attorney Josh Racki said they are awaiting Bradley’s recovery in the hospital and completion of the investigation before filing charges for the March 7 incident.

He said Bradley is a Montana Department of Corrections inmate until June 1 and will be in state custody until then.