MISSOULA — The Division of Criminal Investigation of the Montana Department of Justice is investigating after a suspect who reportedly shot at a police officer was then shot and killed on Thursday morning.
Missoula Police Department Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold said in a news release that an MPD officer stopped a driver who was suspected of driving under the influence. During the stop, the driver of the vehicle accelerated and attempted to flee, and a chase began.
The driver - later identified as 21-year old Brendon T. Galbreath, went through Missoula, including the downtown area, where the driver posed a public safety risk, which included traveling at high rates of speed, and failing to stop for red lights and stop signs, according to the news release.
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 at the officer, according to Arnold. The officer then returned fire and hit Galbreath.
Galbreath was taken to St. Patrick Hospital where he later passed away.
The Missoula police officer that fired their weapon is reported to have three years of law enforcement experience, but the officer's name has not yet been released.
"This was a tragic event for everyone involved. The Missoula Police Department extends our condolences to the family of the subject involved,” the news release states.
Missoula Police Chief Jaeson White requested that DCI investigate the fatal shooting.
We will update you as we get more information.