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Father, son involved in fatal deputy shooting and chase

Missoula Co booking photo(THREE FORKS)- Investigators are now saying it was a father and son that were involved in the early morning shoot out and chase resulting in the death of a sheriff's deputy. 

The cross state chase began early this morning when an attempted traffic stop turned bad in Three Forks, and a Broadwater County Sheriff's deputy was shot and killed. His identity hasn't been released. 

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle the deputy, who's name hasn't been released, was pursuing the car when dispatchers lost contact with the officer. Other units arriving on scene found the suspects gone and the deputy's body alongside the road. 

The pair were apprehended after an MHP trooper spotted the pair near Anaconda. Additional shots were fired before the SUV's tires were spiked and the chase ended near Rock Creek. Missoula County Sheriff's spokeswoman Brenda Bassett says the passenger in the truck was firing at officers as he left the vehicle and was stopped as they returned fire. KPAX TV reports he's being treated in the hospital. 61-year old Lloyd Montier Barrus was arrested and booked on homicide charges. 



Cross state chase ends with shootout in Missoula Co

MCSO photo (ROCK CREEK)- A Broadeater County deputy was shot and killed, and a suspect is being treated after being shot and wounded after a cross state pursuit ends in gun fire east of Missoula.

The Missoula County Sheriff's Office reports the chase started in Three Forks where two suspects got into a shootout with law enforcement early Tuesday resuilting in the death of the deputy. 

The pair fled west on I-90, as a BOLO alert was issued statewide for the suspects. The pursuit started when MHP troopers spotted the suspects near Anaconda. Officers used a spike strip at Mile Marker 162 in Powell County, but the pair were able to keep driving for another thirty miles, as the suspects fired at officers. 

The car eventually stopped east of Rock Creek, where the passenger jumped out of the car and shot at officers before he was struck by a bullet. He was taken to the hospital and the driver was taken into custody. 

Westbound lanes of I-90 remained closed between Beavertail and Rock Creek while the investigation is underway. 


Ravalli Co pushing local charges against violent Missoula carjackers

Carissa KoppNick WestThomas Dempsey(HAMILTON)- Ravalli County is pressing charges against three of the robbers who have already been convicted in federal court of robbing a Missoula area convenience store last year and then carjacking a Washington State family. 

Nick West and Thomas Dempsey were sentenced earlier this month to spend decades behind bars for the early morning holdup at Deano's after which they carjacked the family, leading police on a high speed chase as they fired at officers. The pair got away in Evaro, but were arrested later. 

Now, Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright is filling charges of kidnapping and robbery for an earlier holdup at a casino in Stevensville, shortly before the Missoula robbery. Additionally, charges have been filed against Carissa Kopp, who was also sentenced for the Missoula holdup. 

Fulbright says the robbers had held employees of the Stevensville robbery at gunpoint, locking them in a storage room before they left. 

While any state prison time would likely be superseded by the federal conviction, Fulbright's move does open the door for restitution to be ordered for the victims of the Stevensville robbery. 

The trio made their first court appearance in Hamilton Monday and were being held in the Ravalli County Jail. 


Glacier National Park visits off to robust start for 2017

Glacier has seen heavy snows this year, but it hasn't really slowed visitors down -GNP photo(WEST GLACIER)- Can Glacier National Park finally break the 3,000,000 visitor mark in 2017?

That's the question on the minds of park managers and the Northwest Montana tourism industry as the new year is getting underway. Just over 2.9 million people came through the park gates last year, marking the 3rd year in a row that Glacier visitation has set a record. 

It's expected to be mid-summer, and after the opening of the Going-to-the-Sun Road before we have a clear idea of whether GNP is on pace to set another record, and especially to top the 3-million mark. In fact, with the heavy snows this winter, everyone will be watching to see if the road's opening could be delayed.

But so far the snow isn't keeping people home. The park had over 14,000 visitors in January, which is just a little behind last year. 


Uncertain future for old Libby High School after roof collapse

Byron Sanderson shared this photo of the collapsed roof on Facebook(LIBBY)- It's unknown what will happen to the old Libby High School building after heavy snow from the recent storms caused a major portion of the structure's roof to collapse. 

The building, which was sold to a private investment group about a decade ago, is in the heart of Libby, and had been used for a variety of classes before the school district vacated the property. 

This week, the heavy snow load caused a large area of the upstairs roof at the front of the building to collapse, leaving a massive hole behind. 

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