Officials identify Montana deputy who was killed

May 23, 2017, 01:31
Officials identify Montana deputy who was killed

A Broadwater County, Montana Sheriff's deputy was fatally shot while pursuing a vehicle on a highway early Tuesday morning. The driver of the SUV has been arrested and a passenger was shot by law enforcement and taken to the hospital.

Moore had been a deputy for three years and is the 129th Montana law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty since 1878.

The incident began when a Broadwater County Sheriff's deputy pulled a vehicle over near Three Forks in what's described as a "routine stop" at approximately 3 a.m. A Gallatin County Sheriff's deputy then responded and found the deputy dead on the side of the road.

Investigators found the deputy's vehicle in a ditch and used its dashboard camera to identify the sport utility vehicle he was pursuing, Gootkin said.

Despite its tires being punctured by a spike strip deployed by the Montana Highway Patrol at mile marker 162 in Powell County, the vehicle continued west until it reached the Rock Creek area, where the passenger began firing at officers. The SUV was driving on rims alone when it came to a stop east of Missoula.

The passenger, later identified as Marshall Barrus, 38, of Belgrade, Montana, got out and shot at officers who returned fire.

However, three Butte police cars were damaged by gunshots and taken to Missoula for investigation purposes.

The suspects eventually stopped and the Butte officer and other officers engaged in a firefight. The driver, the shooter's father, Lloyd Barrus, 61, was arrested on suspicion of deliberate homicide.

UPDATE: 5/16/17 - 10 a.m. - Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin confirmed that the suspects are a father and son.

"The men and women of the Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement Department extend our sincerest condolences to Sheriff Meehan, the Broadwater County Sheriff's Department, and the family of the fallen deputy, " Lester said, echoing condolence messages that poured in Tuesday from law enforcement and elected officials across Montana.

The U.S. marked Peace Officers Memorial Day on Monday. He was a husband and father of three children.

Gootkin said dispatchers lost contact with the Broadwater deputy. His condition has not been released.

The suspects came out of their auto and started shooting at officers.

The names of the officer and the suspects have not been released.

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