MISSOULA - One man has died following a shooting involving the Missoula Police Department that took place earlier this week on the city’s westside.
Frank Cogar, 35 of Missoula, died at St. Patrick Hospital, after attempting an assault and robbery, and entering into a 25-minute standoff with police.
The incident started Wednesday morning after police received reports of an assault and robbery inside one of these homes in the Hollywood Trailer Park on Cooley Street.
The call was made by a man who said Cogar entered his home, strangled him, and took his property. Officers arrived and found a man with a gun, who fit the description of the assailant.
Interim Missoula Police Chief Mike Colyer said during a Thursday news conference that officers attempted to negotiate with Cogar and pleaded with the man to drop his weapon. Officers were also trying to secure the scene of the assault and get that victim medical aid.
Law enforcement talked to Cogar for almost a half hour with Colyer explaining that officers felt there was an immediate threat and made the split second life-or-death decision to fire their weapons.
Three officers fired shots at Cogar, who later died at St. Patrick Hospital. Colyer added it's extremely stressful on their officers and they take it very seriously when a person's life is taken.
"It’s a tragedy for them. Taking a human life is no easy task. Whether you're doing that out of defense of self which is a right or defense of others, which is your duty. It still doesn't make it any easier,” he said.
Colyer said that Cogar did not fire his weapon. The three police officers who fired their weapons are on paid administrative leave per MPD policy.
The Missoula Police Department is handling the investigation for the robbery and assault as well as an internal administrative investigation into the shooting.
The Montana Department of Criminal Investigation has been asked to assist in the shooting investigation.