Knife-wielding man shot by police in Billings

Posted at 4:32 PM, Apr 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-09 18:32:21-04

A man wielding a knife was shot and killed by Billings police in a downtown apartment building on Monday.

Billings Police Chief Rich St. John said at a press conference that the 29-year-old Billings resident was in the Sandra Apartment building at 13. N. 32nd St. at around 10 a.m. when he was seen by someone in another building through an open window swinging the knife, St. John said.  

When police officers arrived, one officer fired a Taser at the man from outside the building through the window, but either didn’t hit him or otherwise did not take him down, St. John said. 

Two officers – three-year veteran Jairo Solorio and four-year veteran Brian Weaver – entered the building and went to the apartment where the man was.

He emerged from the room with a knife tied or affixed to his hand and began moving toward the two officers, according to St. John. 

They told him to stop and drop the knife, St. John said. When he didn’t, Solorio fired his Taser, which failed to stop the man, and Weaver fired three shots with his handgun, the chief said. 

The man was taken to Billings Clinic, where a coroner pronounced him dead, St. John said. He added that he did not know if the man had a criminal history.

Weaver and Solorio were both placed on administrative leave and will undergo counseling before returning to active duty, which is department protocol, St. John said. 

An independent review of the incident will be conducted, he said. An officer in the alley was wearing a body cam, but the two inside the building were not, St. John said. 

No officers or other members of the public were injured.

St. John said he is not releasing the name of the victim until family members are notified.

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