A Wyoming woman said Monday that her husband was killed in a series of crimes that ended in the fatal police shooting of a man barricaded inside a West Billings home.
Dennis Gresham, 33, better known as Denny, of Sheridan, Wyo., was found by authorities after a law enforcement pursuit with a Ford Van and two suspects who crashed on private property at 43rd Street West and fled the scene.
Law enforcement captured the female suspect shortly after the crash. The male suspect broke into a home just south of Rimrock Road and west of Shiloh and holed up inside a home for nearly nine hours before he was killed by police when he opened fire on officers.
RELATED: Law enforcement details deadly 9-hour standoff in Billings
Late Monday afternoon Sheriff Mike Linder sent out a press release confirming Dennis Gresham was identified as the man found dead in the van. Linder said Greshman died from multiple gunshots. Linder added that they do not have any information that would indicate the victim knew the man and woman who ran from the van after it crashed.
The van was owned by Gresham, whose wife Megan Gresham told Q2 he was in Billings early Friday morning to get a day of work in before picking up his good friend at the airport around 1 pm.
She said the family had enjoyed a nice dinner at the Smith Alley Brewing Company in Sheridan, and Denny buckled their kids in the car before saying goodbye.
Gresham says her husband left Sheridan around 2:30 a.m. and arrived in Billings at the Yellowstone River Campground around 4:30 a.m.
She said that might sound odd to some, but not for Denny who loved taking adventures in his van.
Gresham said Denny did not show up on his 7 a.m. virtual call with work, but she says she wasn’t worried until he did not pick up their California friend at the Billings airport six hours later.
At that point, Gresham says she and friends started calling hospitals and law enforcement trying to track down the silver van. All this, she says, while the law enforcement was in the middle of a standoff with the suspect holed up in the home on Ridgewood Lane South.
Gresham said she posted on Facebook asking anyone if they had seen Denny, and a couple of hours later one of their friends sent a link to a story about the chase and standoff in Billings, and a photo of her husband’s crashed van.
“And then, I couldn't even read. I saw the pictures. That is my van. It's very recognizable," she said. "I knew it with a very specific detail on the side. I hated the van. I hate the van. It was obviously our van and I, but I couldn't even read it.”
Gresham says there is a surveillance video from the Yellowstone River Campground that shows a man and woman approaching her husband’s van early Friday morning. They first talked to him through a window and then she says the individuals got in and the van drove away.
Gresham says she knows her husband was just doing something nice. They probably asked for a ride.
"I'm sure he was helping them, is my best guess," she said. "I don't know the details, and I want the details, but I don't have them right now."
The Gresham’s have two little boys, one 5 and the other almost 3.
Gresham says her husband loved his kids more than anything in the world. Her husband designed car washes, she said, from the building layout to the nuts and bolts.
But Megan Gresham said she has learned from law enforcement that her husband was a victim of the crime spree in Billings last Friday. She released this statement to Q2 on Monday:
My Sweetpea is gone. On Friday, April 23rd, my husband Dennis Gresham's body was found at a crime scene. He was the victim of a senseless, random and hideous act of evil.
Denny was the purest, most untarnished, genuine soul. He was never anything but steady. He craved adventure, and he was always hungry to eat miles on his motorcycles. His big blue eyes were the window to thoughts that only sweet Denny was capable of conceiving and bringing to fruition. Solutions, ideas, innovations, improvements— He was a creator and passionate about opening those possibilities to anyone in the community, so he worked with a few amazing people and founded the Phorge Makerspace. He had his own way of understanding the world that was both uniquely genius and also so innocent.
Denny loved his entire family, especially Calvin and Malcolm. His devotion to fatherhood and raising our boys to be good men was unmatched. Nothing made him happier than seeing his family enjoying each other.
My poor sweet Denny was murdered. I can't wash his towel because it won't be his anymore. Our boys' little coats were in the van with him. He left a half eaten bag of Doritos. There's an Amazon package for him on the porch. I can only hope he wasn't scared or in pain for long.
I had to hold our boys and tell them that Dad is dead. Strangers hurt him, and he died. I had to tell them that they can talk to the chickens and the horses and the cats who will gossip with the meadowlarks. And the meadowlarks will carry the word and sing it to the mountains. And the pine trees will hear and whisper a message back from Dad on the wind.”
Friends have opened a gofundme account here.