Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The Ravalli County Sheriff's Office is reporting it was a California man who was killed during a confrontation with Missoula Police Officers last month.

It will be up to Missoula County to determine whether the use of force was "justified".

The information comes a month after the shooting, which happened during an early morning traffic stop on Orange Street.

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Traffic Stop That Led to a Pursuit, Shooting

Missoula Police reported the May 14th shooting, which happened in the 700 block of South Orange Street at 2 a.m. MPD Public Information Officer Whitney Bennet said the 32-year-old man became "uncooperative" after he was pulled over, trying to run away.

She said officers tried to "apprehend the man peacefully", but then officers learned he had a gun, and shots were fired.

The Suspect is From California

Thursday, Ravalli County Sheriff-Coroner Steve Holton, who was asked to handle the death investigation by the Missoula County Sheriff's Office, identified the suspect as 32-year-old Christopher Brian Couts of Shasta Lake California.

The Montana Division of Criminal Investigation is heading the full investigation of the incident.

What Happens Next?

The coroner's report, along with the additional information from DCI, will be compiled and then the completed reports transferred to the Missoula County Attorney's Office. Then, the Attorney's Office will conduct a Corner's Inquest, which is the step required under Montana state law.

During an inquest, officers and any other witnesses appear in a courtroom to review the details of what happened, including the decisions that were made that led to the shooting, and any other pertinent evidence that leads to a final decision.

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