Armed Robbery Manhunt: Photo of Suspect Released
Update 2:20 – Missoula Police have released a photo and a description of the suspect. Read press release below for info…
He was described as a white male with brown hair and appeared to be “younger”. He was wearing a Red “Hellgate High School” Letterman Jacket with the name “Jennifer” on it. He had plastic over his shoes and concealed his face with a light colored, possibly teal bandana, and dark sunglasses. The handgun is described as a black semi-auto pistol. There were no injuries reported as a result of this incident.
At approximately 9:41 AM a second robbery was reported at a fast food restaurant on the other side of the street; also in the 900 block of E. Broadway. A lone male entered while brandishing a hand gun and demanded money. He is described as a white male with brown hair, and appeared to be in his late teens or early 20’s. He was said to be concealing his face with a white or light colored bandana, and wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, and dark colored shoes with lighter color socks. The handgun was described as a black semi-auto pistol. There were no injuries reported as a result of this incident.
Though it has not been confirmed, it is believed that both robberies were carried out by the same suspect. A perimeter was established and officers conducted a ground search that at times consisted of going door to door in the immediate area. At this time the suspect remains at large. Information was provided to School District 1, and to the University of Montana who then elected to employ security measures.
Anyone with information regarding either robbery, or the identification of the suspect is asked to call Det. Guy Baker at (406) 396-3217, or Missoula Crime Stoppers.
Update 1:45 – #umlockdown has become the sixth most viewed (at least for a while) twitter hashtag in the nation. See for yourself what people are saying as Missoula watches the manhunt unfold.
Update 1:10 – All MCPS schools as well as the University of Montana have lifted the lock-in orders that were sent out concerning a manhunt for an armed robber that began early Thursday morning, February 6.
According to an MCPS press release:
All schools will be released as planned. The Missoula Police Department has increased patrols around schools this afternoon. The suspect is still at large. Parents may want to consider picking up their children at school or meeting them at their bus stops.
Update 12:20 – Police are reporting that the suspect was last seen around 10:14 a.m. headed southwest and crossing 5th and 6th streets near Arthur street.
Schools under a lock-in (meaning all doors are locked and personnel are posted at entrances) currently include Hellgate, Paxson, Lewis and Clark, Lowell Elementary and the Administration Building on Sixth Avenue. Despite the lock-ins, schools are expected to release students at the usual time.
The following schools were placed on lock-in between approximately 10 am and noon today, Thursday, February 6, 2014, BUT ARE NO LONGER UNDER LOCK-IN: Hellgate High School, Sentinel High School, Willard Alternative High School, Washington Middle School, Rattlesnake Elementary, Paxson Elementary , Lewis and Clark Elementary, Lowell Elementary, The Administration Building on 6th Street, The Business Building on South Avenue
Update: 12:00 -Many MCPS buildings are under lock-down including Hellgate High School, Sentinel High School, Washington Middle School, Lewis and Clark Elementary School, Rattlesnake Elementary School and Paxson Elementary School. These buildings are in addition to The Unviersity of Montana and the Missoula College buildings.
University of Montana students have been warned to stay put as police attempt to close in on an armed robbery suspect near the footbridge that leads to the University of Montana.
“I do know that the suspect they are looking for may have been spotted at the corner of Sixth and Arthur, but I don’t know which direction he was going,” said UM spokeswoman Peggy Kuhr. “We don’t have any indication at this time that he has been on campus, but we just want to be super secure about that and we are also, of course, concerned about the adjoining neighborhoods. ”
Below is the warning sent at 10: 51 a.m.:
Stay in place. Do not move around. Stay in buildings behind locked door. Do not come to campus.
Missoula drivers were stopped in traffic along East Broadway at 9:45 a.m., Thursday, February 6 as multiple police cars surrounded what was the scene of multiple armed robbery incidents.
“9-11 received a call from a local motel on the East Broadway corridor about a male that had entered and robbed them,” said Detective Sgt. Travis Welsh. “A short time later we received a call from a fast food restaurant also on the East Broadway corridor that reported the same Male was believed to be alone and on foot. Officers are actively looking for the suspect in the area. He is considered armed and dangerous.
There is still no certainty as to what type of clothes the suspect is wearing other than that he disguised his face with a handkerchief or a bandana.
KGVO news partner KECI reports that robberies occurred at Studio Motel 6 and Taco Bell and that Paxson school is under lock-down after reports that the robbery involved a handgun.
UM students were sent the following alert: “Two Armed robberies north of the footbridge stay clear of the area,” just after 10 a.m.
At 10:45 the suspect had still not been apprehended and Paxson Elementary school was advised to go on lock-down. Police cars were headed toward the University of Montana where the suspect is believed to be on foot.
Here is the message sent to Paxson Elementary parents:
Paxson School is presently in a Lock In situation. That means that our exterior doors are locked and we are monitoring the doors. There was an armed robbery in our vicinity this morning and the suspect has not been apprehended. For a short time, we were in complete lock down but the Missoula Police Dept. has advised us that we are safe to go to a lower level of security (lock in). The staff at Paxson is responding professionally and appropriately to this immediate situation. The students are doing well.
Reports of stalled traffic extend east of Madison street, blocking all of East Broadway, but it is still unclear exactly where the robberies occurred. More info as soon as it is available.