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Feb 11, 2013 1:19 PM by Q2 News

UPDATE: Man dies from abdominal gunshot wound after police encounter

UPDATE: Billings Police captain RD Harper says he believes the man who died following an altercation with a Billings Police officer Monday morning is a 32-year-old from Billings.

The man, who has not yet been identified, was shot in the abdomen by Officer Grant Morrison while the officer was searching for another individual who had fled from police.

According to Harper, the other individual is wanted on an arrest warrant and had fled from police at 23 Custer Avenue- the same location where the vehicle was parked that Officer Morrison then approached.

Harper said Officer Morrison approached the vehicle because it had not previously been parked at the location and he noticed several passengers in the vehicle.

BILLINGS - A Billings man has died from an abdominal gunshot wound he received during an early morning encounter with police.

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 Officer 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, Officer Morrison drew his sidearm and fired one round into the man's abdomen. Police performed first aid until the ambulance arrived.

He 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, Officer 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."


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