Officer Cleared in Red Lodge Shooting
RED LODGE, Mont. (AP) — A coroner's jury has found that a Billings man killed during a confrontation with a Red Lodge police officer died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Thursday's finding clears Red Lodge Police Assistant Chief Scott Cope of wrongdoing in the Oct. 13 death of 35-year-old Timothy William Patrick.
Cope testified that he shot three times at Patrick before Patrick turned a pistol on himself along the scenic Beartooth Highway near Yellowstone National Park.
Before the shooting, Patrick and 29-year-old Leslie Ann Erickson allegedly led police on a high-speed chase in a stolen car from Yellowstone County.
Erickson corroborated Cope's recounting of the shooting.
She says Patrick, a convicted felon, killed himself to avoid going back to prison.