Man killed by Billings police at casino following domestic distu - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT


Man killed by Billings police at casino following domestic disturbance

Posted: Updated:

BILLINGS - The shooting death Tuesday morning of a 44-year-old man at a Billings casino stemmed from a domestic incident.

Police Chief Rich St. John said at a press conference officers were called to a home on the 1800 block of Yellowstone Avenue around 12:45 a.m.

The caller said her ex-husband was outside of her home making noise and threatening to rob a casino.

When police arrived at the home the man was gone.

He was located in the parking lot of Lucky Lil’s Casino at 15th Street West and Grand Avenue around 1:30 a.m.

St. John said the man ignored commands to stop and entered the casino.

Once inside, he began waving a gun that police later determined was a CO2 pellet gun.

Casino patrons are buzzed in during the after hours, and because casino employees were distracted by the suspect officers were unable to immediately enter the building, St. John said.

After breaking a window panel, two officers entered the casino and saw the armed man.

"Officers saw the suspect waving the gun and threatening people," said St. John. "Patrons were yelling, screaming, ducking for cover and looking to escape." 

He ignored orders to put the gun down, and that’s when Sgt. Brett Becker opened fire with .223-caliber rifle. 

"The suspect failed to comply and yelled at one point that he had hostages," said St. John. "The officer, believing lives were in jeopardy, fired multiple rounds from his patrol rifle."

The man was struck in the torso and fell to the ground. He continued to move in a crouched position and Becker believed the man was searching for his gun on the floor.

A second shot was fired and the man was struck again.

Medical attention was administered on scene and the man was taken to St. Vincent Healthcare where he died.

St. John said the man’s ex-wife who called 911 believed he was under the influence of opiate drugs.

The ex-wife had filed a restraining order that had not yet been served on her ex-husband.

The man's name was not released during the press conference.   

A patron who was inside the casino while the incident unfolded said she heard the man shout he had hostages.

St. John believes Becker’s use of his firearm was the only option because of the urgency of the situation.

He estimates the officer and suspect were about 100 feet apart when the shots were fired, meaning use of a Taser wasn’t an option.

Becker has been placed on paid administrative leave for the first time in his 11-year career with the Billings Police Department.

St. John said the man was known to Billings police due to previous incidents.

A toxicology report will take place to determine if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the incident.

A coroner’s inquest will also be scheduled to determine if Becker’s actions were justified.

A total of three Billings police officers are now on administrative leave due to their involvement in shootings over the past two days.

This marks the sixth police shooting in Billings since May of 2017. Only shooting was non-fatal, while the other five resulted in deaths.


BILLINGS - A shooting at a casino on Grand Avenue in Billings has resulted in the death of one suspect. 

Cpt. Jeremy House confirmed the shots were fired by a Billings police officer early Tuesday around 2 a.m.

The shooting occurred at the Lucky Lil's Casino at the corner of 15th Street West and Grand Avenue. 

The suspect was taken to a local hospital and died there. 

No officers were injured. 

The names of the suspect and officer involved in Tuesday's shooting have not been released. 

The police department plans to release more information on what lead to the shooting later Tuesday morning. 

This is the second shooting involving a Billings police officer in two days. 

One man was killed at a downtown apartment complex Monday morning. 

Read more about it here

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

Powered by Frankly

© KTVQ.com 2018, KTVQ.com
All rights reserved
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?