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Owners unsure when Big Bear Sports Center in Billings will reope - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

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Owners unsure when Big Bear Sports Center in Billings will reopen, thank community for support

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Big Bear Sports Center was damaged after Saturday standoff (MTN News) Big Bear Sports Center was damaged after Saturday standoff (MTN News)

BILLINGS - The owners of Big Bear Sports Center said Tuesday they are unsure when they will reopen their Billings store after the severe damage caused in nine-hour police standoff this weekend.

Brett Taylor, who owns the store with his father Bob, said they and employees are working to pick up the pieces after the early Saturday standoff, where a man bashed through the front door with an SUV and fired multiple rounds from store-owned guns at police.

It is the first time they Taylors have spoken out since the incident occurred.

The Taylors said they are still assessing the damage to both the interior and exterior of the store, and they do not have a cost estimate. Police said damage included damaged water and gas lines, the front entrance and bullet holes.

After nine hours, and gunfire back and forth, the man, identified as Frank Half Jr., was killed by Billings police officers, according to autopsy results released today.

"One of those tragic events that you hope never happens, especially in your own community,” said Brett Taylor. “Since it has happened, we've come together as a company like a family and we are going to work together and just stay positive and move forward and try to come back better than ever.

Along with thanking all of the law enforcement agencies involved, the Taylors also released a statement extending thanks to the community for their support:

“We also owe the citizens of Billings and the surrounding communities a personal thank you. From our management, our employees and everyone that was affected by Saturday’s events, thank you. The outpouring of support has been incredible and we are grateful to call Billings home and the people that live here our neighbors. Your messages, comments, well wishes and thoughts have helped get us through the long days…With the help of our amazing employees, the support of our community and a little elbow grease; we’ll be back to business soon!”

Taylor said that employees will stay on and help get the store back in shape to reopen. They are still waiting on the insurance adjusters to give them an estimate on the damages.

Big Bear Sports Center has operated in Billings since 1959.

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Big Bear standoff suspect, Billings officers who shot at him identified

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