by Travis Mateer
According to some local residents I spoke with, the heavy police presence near McCormick park had been deployed for quite some time Sunday evening.
I was leaving my studio around 5:30pm, driving south on Orange Street over the river, when I noticed the sirens. When I pulled onto a side street, I noticed EMTs and Fire on standby, and a portion of Hickory street seemingly closed off by police between River St. and 1st.
While the above image is dated (I’m having trouble updating images), I parked at what appears to be Free Cycles (they have moved just to the west). A pick-up truck was circling the block, but didn’t appear to be marked as official law enforcement.
One of the police-related objects a bystander made reference to was a trailer of sorts. I tried getting a picture (will upload the picture later).
Around 6:05pm I heard a loud bang. While I am not a good judge of audio ballistics, it sounded louder than a .22 caliber discharge.
About 5 minutes after the loud bang, I heard someone shout “DID THEY GET HIM YET?”
I didn’t stick around to find out the answer. That’s the job of PAID reporters.
UPDATE: from the paid reporter:
Missoula Police responded to a call earlier this afternoon and found the suspect a block away from the call, on North Hickory Street.
He had retreated to his vehicle with his Pitbull in the open lot where his car was parked.
When police asked the man to step out of the vehicle, he became verbally agitated and upset. He told authorities he would rather they “shoot him” than take him to jail.
He then barricaded himself inside the car with his dog.
Missoula Police became aware the man lives in his vehicle and did have a knife.
The SWAT Team was called. They yelled commands through a megaphone. Eventually, they gained his compliance and took him into custody.
The Pitbull was taken in by the owner of the lot, where the vehicle was parked.
The man is being charged with assault of a weapon and for violating probation.