MISSOULA — We are hearing from the family of a man who died early this week after a police chase in in Missoula.
Missoula County Sheriff TJ McDermott has identified the man who died as 21-year-old Brendon Galbreath of Missoula.
Missoula Police Department Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold said that an MPD officer stopped a driver who was suspected of driving under the influence on Great Northern Avenue. During the stop, the driver of the vehicle - later identified as Galbreath - accelerated and sped away, leading to a chase.
Galbreath drove through Missoula, including the downtown area, where he posed a public safety risk, according to the MPD, which included traveling at high rates of speed, and failing to stop for red lights and stop signs.
Arnold says that at one point, pedestrians were put at risk while crossing at a crosswalk when Galbreath failed to yield and continued through the intersection.
The chase ended on Stephens Avenue near Beckwith Street where Galbreath fired a handgun, according to Arnold. The officer returned fire. Officers at the scene provided medical aid and called for EMS.
Galbreath was taken to St. Patrick Hospital where he later passed away.
We talked with Galbreath’s brother Terrance LaFromboise on Friday. The family told us Galbreath was a pre-med student at UCLA and was back in Montana due to COVID-19.
LaFromboise said his brother was a kind, caring, and honest person, and that he worked at AT&T in Missoula.
LaFromboise said, "I want people to know that this incident is not indicative of who my brother Brendon is. There are about three or four key pieces that are not adding up to me. And I know my brother will take full responsibility for his actions and I’m really hoping the Missoula Police Department do the same."
MTN News plans to talk with LaFromboise further and will have bring you the details of that conversation in the coming days.