Big Bear Sports Center will close their doors permanently in Billings, according to sources close to the store.
The Billings location has been closed since early November when a police standoff caused major damage to the store and inventory.
Sources close to Big Bear Sports told MTN News that employees were called to a meeting on Friday, where they were told the store would close permanently.
Since the November incident, owners Bob and Brett Taylor have said that they hoped they could eventually reopen, but were unsure how long it would take. They have not commented on the closure.
In early November, a man crashed through the front entrance of the Billings store with an SUV, firing multiple rounds at police throughout the nine-hour standoff.
Billings police officers used tear gas to try and force the man out of the building. During the standoff, both water and gas lines were damaged, causing some flooding to the store.
After nine hours, and gunfire back and forth, the man, identified as Frank Half Jr., was killed by officers.
Employees were still working and being paid, despite the fact that the store was closed to customers.
Big Bear Sports Center has operated in Billings since 1959.
There is also a Big Bear location in Great Falls at 121 Northwest Bypass, near the former Kmart store.
There is no word yet on the Great Falls store; management has not yet returned our calls.
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