Posted: Feb 11, 2013 9:23 AM by MTN News
Updated: Feb 11, 2013 9:23 AM
BILLINGS - A Billings man has died from an abdominal gunshot wound he received in an early morning officer-involved shooting.
At 1:25 a.m., Billings police were in a residential area near Custer Ave. and Division St., looking for a wanted male suspect that had fled from them, Captain R.D. Harper told reporters at a Monday morning press conference.
During the search, police noticed a suspicious car parked outside 23 Custer Ave. The vehicle contained two female passengers and one male passenger. Another male, whom police thought to be the driver, was standing between the car and the house at 23 Custer Ave.
Officer Grant Morrison, a three-year veteran, approached the car to identify the occupants to see if the suspect was among them. The suspect he was looking for was not present at the time.
"Officer Morrison approached the vehicle, and the male passenger began to get out of the right rear door," Captain Harper said during a prepared statement. "The male was non-compliant, and refused to follow Officer Morrison's instructions."
Harper said Morrison deployed his Taser, but it was ineffective.
"Officer Morrison then saw that the suspect possessed a black handgun and appeared to be reaching for it," Harper continued.
At this point, Morrison drew his sidearm and fired one round into the man's abdomen. Police performed first aid until the ambulance arrived.
The man was then taken to St. Vincent Healthcare where he was later pronounced dead. An autopsy is expected to be performed Monday or Tuesday.
Following standard procedure, Morrison has been placed on paid leave while the investigation continues.
"It's a two-prong investigation," Harper said. "You've got the criminal investigation that goes on, and then the administrative investigation as well...We'll all talk about it and if mistakes were made, or if we can do things better, we try to do that."