At around 9:20 a.m. on Monday, Missoula Police Officers responded to a disturbance at the Poverello Center on Broadway. An employee told a man he was not welcome there as he had previously been denied services. According to Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh, that’s when the man became upset.

“Complainants advised that a male had threatened employees with a variety of weapons and was currently holding a knife a short distance away,” Welsh said. “When the officers arrived, they made contact with the male and identified him as 36-year-old Justin Smith. At that time, Smith was in possession of a knife. He was disarmed and placed into custody.”

Officers were told by other staff members that Smith made multiple threats with a few different weapons.

“After investigation at the scene, the officers discovered that Smith had also made threats toward employees with what they described as an axe and a golf club, before finally brandishing a knife and approaching from across the street,” Welsh said.

Court documents indicate all of the staff members involved were fearful that the weapons would be used to harm them. Smith was charged with three separate felony counts of assault with a weapon.

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