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Police officer shot during hours-long standoff in Billings

Billings police officer shot, standoff at Birch Lane
Billings police officer shot, standoff at Birch Lane
Posted at 12:26 PM, Mar 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-19 20:33:43-04

(UPDATE, 10:06 pm) After 14 hours, officers were able to convince the suspect to surrender without any further incident.

The suspect is being evaluated by medical responders, and taken to the Yellowstone County Detention Facility when appropriate.

(UPDATE, 8:15 pm) Lt. Lennick told MTN News the wounded officer is out of surgery and in stable condition at a Billings hospital.

Twelve hours later, the suspect is still not cooperating, but both sides of her mobile home have been removed, according to Lt. Lennick.

Officers say they are doing all they can to resolve the situation peacefully.

(UPDATE, 5:30 pm) The standoff continues and more agencies have joined in. The Gallatin County Special Operations team recently arrived on the scene to assist the other agencies.

According to police, the detective who was shot is in stable condition at a local hospital.

Neighbors like Tony Smith are grateful for the agencies that are working to resolve the situation.

"Not so much (worried) when you see the presence that we have," Smith said on Saturday. "Talking to the officer, that’s still an active scene. So I’m sure they’ll take care of it.”

Billings police officer shot, standoff at Birch Lane
Billings police officer shot, standoff at Birch Lane

MTN News was contacted by Shamica Stiles, who claims to be the daughter of the suspect. Stiles identified the suspect as Mary Whitecrane.

"She’s schizophrenic, bipolar, and I’m pretty sure she also has some PTSD in there," Stiles said on a video call on Saturday. "It’s really easy to get her worked up and to trigger those things in her."

Stiles said her mother suffers from mental health issues and is worried about what could happen.

"I'm afraid this is going to end deadly," Stiles said. "I love her and I don't want to be hurt."

More flashbangs were heard around 5:20 p.m. and it appears some of the officers have been switched out with new ones.

(UPDATE, 1 pm) Police Lt. Matt Lennick said the situation began Friday night when officers were called to the residence on Birch Lane, but he was not sure why the call was made or how that call was resolved.

Then on Saturday at around 7 a.m. the department received calls of shots being fired from the same residence at neighboring homes.

When officers arrived one was shot and wounded, Lennick said. That officer was being treated at the hospital and was in surgery early Saturday afternoon, Lennick said. The name of the officer has not been released.

Police said the suspect is a woman, but her name has not been released.

Numerous officers from several agencies have since surrounded the residence and evacuated nearby residences. Officers have used flash bangs to try and force the suspect to surrender, but she continued to occasionally shoot from the house.

As of about 12:30 p.m. officers backed off to give her time to settle down, and some officers were seen leaving the area.

(UPDATE, 12:20 pm) Officers have evacuated surrounding homes, and are still trying to contact the suspect, who remains barricaded and firing at officers.

(UPDATE, 12:05 pm) Numerous emergency responders are at the scene. Law enforcement is using every option available to try and get the suspect to surrender.

U.S. Marshalls, SWAT, and BPD are at the scene. Flash bangs can be heard as well as the hovering drone.

(1st REPORT, 11:54 am) A Billings police officer has been shot and officers are engaged in a standoff at a residence on Birch Lane.

At this point, there is no word on the extent or severity of the officer's injuries.

Officers responded to a complaint of a person shooting out of their home into neighboring residences. We will update you as we get more information.


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