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IN CUSTODY – Robbery – Carjacking Suspects Apprehended

The two men who allegedly robbed a casino, carjacked a family and fired shots at pursuing officers early Friday morning, are in custody at the Missoula County Jail.

Public Information Officer for the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, Brenda Bassett, said the two men were apprehended in different locations on North Reserve by authorities and an exhaustive multi-agency manhunt.

photo from MCSO
Thomas Dempsey

“We worked with all the law enforcement agencies including the FBI, and were able to get both suspects in custody last night,” Bassett said. “They are 36 year-old Thomas Earl Dempsey and 38 year-old Nick West.”

photo from MCSO
Nick West

Bassett said details about how they apprehended the suspects is being withheld until the suspects have been arraigned and formally charged. Both West and Dempsey have been charged with felony robbery and aggravated kidnapping.

Bassett said all the agencies involved were elated when both men were taken into custody.

“Everyone was so glad that the family was not injured in the incident, and that both these suspects were taken into custody without incident,” she said. “It was a group effort. Our detectives were working through the night and the sheriff couldn’t be more happy with the outcome. The Highway Patrol, Missoula Police and deputies from other counties were involved in the investigation.

Bassett said one of the true heroes of the incident was the Sheriff’s Department’s negotiator, Deputy Rebecca Birket.

“She did an amazing job negotiating to get these children out of the car,” she said. “We’re just so proud of her, she did an amazing job. When she walked away, she was shaken up, but you could tell she was so pleased that the children were out of the car, and we just applaud her because she did such a fantastic job.”

The two men will appear in Missoula Justice Court on Tuesday.

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