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Great Falls murder victim and suspect identified

Homicide and kidnapping in Great Falls ends with suspect shot dead
Police investigating homicide and kidnapping in Great Falls
Homicide and kidnapping in Great Falls ends with suspect shot dead
Police investigating homicide and kidnapping in Great Falls
Police investigating homicide and kidnapping in Great Falls
Posted at 3:18 PM, Jul 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-19 20:24:48-04

GREAT FALLS — The woman who was shot and killed in Great Falls on Thursday morning has been identified as 51-year old Patricia Putnam.

The Great Falls Police Department said on Monday that officers were dispatched to a home at about 12:30 a.m. on the 3000 block of 6th Street NE, near Sacajawea Elementary School, for a reported domestic disturbance. Officers found Putnam, a "distraught" family member, and two young children.

Officers learned that the suspect was 24-year old Xavier Hutt of Missoula, who reportedly had been in a relationship with a member of Putman's family; after shooting Putnam, Hutt then took an adult female hostage and fled the scene.

The GFPD quickly obtained a $1 million arrest warrant for Hutt on charges of homicide and kidnapping.

Law enforcement officers from several agencies engaged in the chase of Hutt, which ended at about 6:20 a.m. off of Highway 2 in Flathead County, where Hutt was shot and killed by an officer. Authorities have not yet publicly stated what agency the officer is associated with.

The female hostage was safe and treated for injuries she sustained from Hutt; her name has not been released.

Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter said that an autopsy confirmed that Putnam died from multiple gunshot wounds, and the manner of death was homicide.

An investigation into the shooting of Hutt is being conducted by the Montana Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation; this is standard procedure any time an officer shoots a person.

Witness recounts shooting and kidnapping