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Suspect in Billings standoff arrested in Columbus

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Posted at 6:08 AM, Aug 16, 2023

Update 5:30 p.m.
Billings and Columbus residents reacted to Wednesday morning's scene and the suspect's arrest in the afternoon.

"At four, the dogs were barking and going crazy, and I went out and looked out the window and saw all the police officers in our driveway with their lights shining next door. We were instructed to stay inside, don’t open the windows, don’t turn on any lights, they’ll contact you if they need you," said Golden Meadow resident Tenille Westervelt on Wednesday.

"At about 5:30 a.m., one of the officers knocked on the door and asked us to leave and said, 'we’re kind of in a hurry, so grab your keys and go'," added Tim Westervelt.

"I started hearing the other loud bangs, around 6:22 this morning. I think it was flash bangs," said Billings resident Misty Wade on Wednesday.

"We were having a meeting out in the lobby about 11 o’clock and we could hear sirens and we finished up our meeting, we didn’t see anything, I went back into the kitchen and next thing I know I could hear other managers saying get away from the windows, get away from the windows," said Columbus resident Kayla LaTray on Wednesday.

"My phone's blowing up because everyone knows I work there. So, they’re like 'are they okay? Is everybody fine? Did they have to shoot?' No, everything’s fine, they blocked him, were able to get him out, arrested both of them and towed the vehicle away," she added.

-reported by Phil Van Pelt



Update 4 p.m.

Police arrested a 39-year-old man in Columbus who was suspected of shooting three people Wednesday on Billings West End.

Darrell Bryant was arrested Wednesday afternoon in Columbus after he fled a residence on the 10 block of West Meadow Drive early in the morning, according to a news release from Billings police Lt. Matt Lennick.

Police had initially thought Bryant was holed up in the residence and had closed off the area for several hours, using flash bangs and chemical agents in attempts to make contact with the suspect, according to Lennick.

Police then determined he had left the residence before police arrived, and they received a tip that he was in Columbus, according to Lennick. The tip was confirmed by the Stillwater County Sheriff's Office.

Law enforcement from multiple agencies, including Billings police, the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office, Stillwater County Sheriff's Office and Columbus Police Department, arrested Bryant without incident, according to Lennick.

He was booked into Yellowstone County jail on suspicion of three charges of attempted deliberate homicide. The three victims were a 45-year-old woman, an 18-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy, who all live in Billings area.

Here's the full release from Lennick:

On August 16, 2023 at 1:49 am Officers responded to the 10 block of West Meadow Drive for a weapons complaint. Several calls came in reporting gunshots in the area. While securing the area and attempting to locate involved parties Officers were advised three victims had arrived at the hospital with gunshot wounds. The victims were a 45 year old local female, and 18 and 16 year old local males.

Officers obtained information the suspect was alone and armed inside of a residence on West Meadow Drive and secured the area. At this time BPD SWAT was activated with YCSO SWAT assisting. SWAT Officers and negotiators spent several hours attempting to make contact with the suspect and attempted the use of flash bangs and chemical agents with no response from anyone inside the residence. It was determined the suspect was not in the suspected residence and had fled the area before Officers arrived to secure it.

Information was then gathered that the suspect had been located in Columbus, MT. Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office was able to verify this information and BPD was requested to respond to assist in the arrest of the suspect. BPD Officers and YCSO Deputies responded and met with Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office and Columbus Police Department and apprehended the suspect without incident.

The suspect is identified as Darrell Bryant, a 39 year old local male. Bryant has been remanded into custody at the Yellowstone County Detention Facility on three charges of attempted deliberate homicide.

The BPD would like to thank the public for their patience this morning while the initial scene was being held and then processed, as well as the supporting agencies, Billings Fire Department, AMR, Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office, Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office, and Columbus PD.



Update 10:55 a.m.

The standoff on the Billings West End has ended.

Police said the suspect "has been located in a neighboring county."

"Detectives will still be on scene but the area is clear for residents' to return home and King Ave W will be opened soon," police said.

No other information was immediately released.

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Update 8:20 a.m.

Multiple agencies continue to work the scene of a suspect barricaded in a residence on West Meadow Drive.

A staging area has been established at 3210 King Avenue West. A suspect has been identified, according to Billings police Sgt. Sam Puckett. Several homes nearby have been evacuated. A hostage negotiator, SWAT, and drone teams are on site.

King Avenue West between South 32nd Street West and South 36th Street West remains closed.

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Law enforcement has set up a staging area at King Plaza
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Law enforcement at the staging area near a standoff Wednesday morning

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Original Report

BILLINGS - Billings police shut down a portion of King Avenue West early Wednesday after responding to a shooting and finding a person barricaded in a residence.

Police said on social media that officers responded at 1:49 a.m. to a weapons complaint on West Meadow Drive. Officers located three people who were injured in a shooting. All three were taken to a local hospital.

The suspect was barricaded in the residence and there is a "large police presence in the area."

West Meadow Drive was closed to all vehicle and foot traffic, and King Avenue West was closed between South 36th Street West to South 32nd Street West in both directions. Police asked people to avoid the area.

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This is a developing story. Check back for updates.