GFPD, Pondera sheriff release details on March 17 homicide, pursuit
Great Falls dispatchers received reports of gunshots around 5:40 p.m. March 17 in the 1400 block of 3rd West Hill Drive.
When Great Falls Police officers arrived, they found one person dead from what appeared to be a gunshot wound.
Officers identified a suspect and learned that the person had left that residents a few minutes before they arrived, according to GFPD.
The Pondera County Sheriff’s Office was notified that the suspect had fled Great Falls and was driving a black GMC truck.
Around 7:45 p.m., a Pondera County deputy found the truck on Highway 44 near Conrad, according to the Pondera County sheriff’s office.
When deputies attempted to contact the suspect, he fled west with deputies in pursuit, according to the Pondera sheriff’s office.
The pursuit, during which the suspect filed a pistol at deputies, went through the town of Valier and ended at the Valier Pavilion boat ramp where deputies were able to block the suspect’s escape.
By that time, assistance from the GFPD, Cascade County Sheriff’s Office, Montana Highway Patrol, Glacier and Toole county sheriff’s office, Conrad Police Department, Blackfeet Law Enforcement, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the FBI arrived on scene, according to the Pondera sheriff’s office.
Deputies and negotiators worked with the suspect for three hours to try to get him to surrender peacefully, but he shot himself around 11 p.m., according to the Pondera County sheriff’s office.
GFPD detectives are leading the investigation into the homicide that occurred in the city limits and there will be police activity at the residence today.
The Montana Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation is leading the death investigation in Pondera County.
The Cascade County Sheriff’s Office will handle the release of the names of the victim, according to GFPD.
Pondera Sheriff Robert Skorupa said the suspect’s body will be sent to the Montana Crime Lab for autopsy and a coroner from another county will conduct a coroner’s inquest at a later date.