Johnny Lee Perry, The Homeless Man Allegedly Responsible For The Death Of Sean Stevenson In 2020, ID’d As Shooting Victim Of Missoula County Sheriff’s Department

by Travis Mateer


This news has finally broken within the last hour, though I started hearing rumors yesterday that Johnny Lee Perry was the supposed machete-wielding shooting victim of the Missoula County Sheriff’s Department.

Now it’s official:

Ravalli County Sheriff and Coroner Steve Holton issued a press release on Friday afternoon identifying the victim of a fatal Missoula County Sheriff’s Office shooting that occurred on August 29.

The victim was identified as Johnny Lee Perry II of Missoula. The Ravalli County Coroner’s Office is conducting the Coroner investigation, which is common practice when another agency’s personnel are involved in a custodial death. The Montana Division of Criminal Investigation is conducting an independent investigation as well.

While I process this late-Friday news story, you can read about my interaction with the victim here.


NBC Montana has some pretty important information about what is NOT being reported so far regarding this incident, which happened a week ago tomorrow (today is 9-4-21). From the link (emphasis mine):

This week, investigators say he threatened law enforcement officers with a machete, refused to put it down and didn’t back off after what deputies called several “non-lethal” attempts to calm him.

Perry died at the hospital.

We’ve requested twice to know the name of the deputies involved in the shooting. We’ll let you know if officials tell us.

Hopefully more information will come out as questions swirl, especially among the homeless people I talked to.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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8 Responses to Johnny Lee Perry, The Homeless Man Allegedly Responsible For The Death Of Sean Stevenson In 2020, ID’d As Shooting Victim Of Missoula County Sheriff’s Department

  1. Greg Strandberg says:

    $10 says none of our local media will make the connection between the homeless shelter killing and this man. If they do, they won’t write about it. Such utterances could hurt the numerous non-profits that are currently feeding off the homeless ‘crisis.’

  2. Eric says:

    Good riddance, right?

  3. Eric says:

    I think he could be the exception to the rule.

    I hope this brings a little closure to the Stevenson family.

  4. Jejchelle says:

    Is there such a thing as a “little closure”? I’ve not thought about the possibility of partial closure. If only I believed the narrative presented to us. Then I might be able to say, “yes”, this brings closure, justice, an eye for an eye… Hurrah for the boys in blue! But, I do not have the luxury of believing the narrative. I saw the pictures of Sean Stevenson’s body. I read the autopsy. I scrutinized his medical records. I listened to the so called witnesses. My critical mind will not allow me the luxury of closure. Sean’s assailant was trained to use a rear naked chokehold, carotid hold or whatever politically correct term leos now call it. If you spend as much time as I have reading blue commentary about this weapon of choice you would understand the skepticism. Then again, maybe Johnny Lee Perry was just a thug with a license to kill, someone trained perhaps through martial arts to use the rear naked choke. Closure, my ass.
    Despite the fact that Sean had legally acquired residency, had been working and was awaiting the move in date of his new apartment. He remains labeled an “out of towner”. The good citizens of Montana seem put off by this. Lucky for JLP he managed to cross over into that heavenly space of Montana residency despite the fact that he was a known to hurl terroristic threats, convicted felon, murdering, unemployed, ilicit user of illegal drugs that had no known Montana address other than 1110 West Broadway, Missoula.
    Now, if i consider that some of the narrative is true and JLP was in part responsible for Sean’s murder. This would be a step in the right direction. Court system be damned! It’s so much more cost effective to have law enforcement take out undesirables. I wonder how many others that were involved in Sean’s murder and euthanasia will end up dead. Will the cops take them out as publicly and efficiently as they did Johnny? Will these defenders of justice continue to hunt down the others who must have been involved in attacking Sean? Guess that could depend on whether they too were black, homeless and from out if town. This could begin to be a great model for reestablishing trust amongst the community and police. I’m looking forward to the tidy, repackaging Sunday morning spread in the Missoulian. The tragic loss of this young father who leaves family and local residents saddened by his untimely demise. I’m certain for someone, somewhere he too will be missed.

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