County Releases Charging Information on New Year’s Eve Shooting Near Evaro [YouTube]
The Missoula County Attorney has released the identities and charges in an officer-involved shooting that occurred on New Year's Eve.
Kirsten Pabst states in the affidavit released on Friday that Eugene Albert Statelen, 42, is facing multiple charges, including three felonies and two misdemeanors. He has been charged with two felony counts of assault on a peace officer, felony assault with a weapon, misdemeanor partner or family member assault and destruction or tampering with a communication device, also a misdemeanor.
Court records indicate that following a drunken confrontation with his wife, she claimed Statelen threatened to kill her. She told responding Missoula County Sheriff's deputies that she thought her husband might kill her or someone else.
Deputy Jace Dicken reported that he had located Statelen's vehicle not far from his home on Grooms Road in Evaro. A few minutes after midnight, Tony Rio, who had just been promoted from Sergeant to Captain of Professional Standards in the department, reported that Statelen had attempted to run him over with his vehicle, and that shots had been fired. Determining that the suspect had placed both he and Deputy Dicken in a life-threatening situation, Rio shot the suspect twice, once in the shoulder and once in the head. Statelen was then transported to St. Patrick Hospital where he was listed in serious condition.
Captain Rio, who had been dragged for a short distance by the defendant's vehicle said he experienced pain in his wrist, hip, shin and stomach. He was treated and released from the hospital.
Pabst said even though Statelen has been charged, he has not yet made a court appearance. She said if he is not well enough to make an appearance from the Missoula County Jail, that a judge would visit the hospital and advise Statalen of his rights and charges.
Pabst said the Missoula City Police Department is handling the investigation into the shooting, and will be bringing all their evidence to the county attorney's office to determine if the shooting was justified.
The felony charges against Statelen run from two to 20 years in prison, with fines of up to $50,000.