UPDATE as of 9:58am on Friday: The suspect in this incident has been identified as Brendon T. Galbreath.

Early Thursday morning, a Missoula Police Department Officer was involved in a shooting with a suspect. Following a pursuit, the 21-year-old suspect produced a handgun and fired. The officer returned fire and the suspect later passed away at St. Patrick's Hospital.

The Missoula Police Department provided the following statement:

The Montana Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation is currently investigating an Officer Involved Shooting which occurred in the City of Missoula during the early hours of August 12, 2021. The Missoula Police Department is committed to providing a thorough and independent investigation of the officer-involved shooting. The Missoula Police Department is fully cooperating with the Division of Criminal Investigation. Limited information can be disclosed at this time to allow for their investigation to proceed impartially.

In coordination with the Division of Criminal Investigation, the following information can be provided by the Missoula Police Department:

A Missoula Police Officer with three years of law enforcement experience, was conducting a traffic stop of a driver suspected of driving under the influence. During the stop, the driver of the vehicle accelerated and attempted to flee. A pursuit ensued.

The pursuit came through Missoula, including the downtown area, where the driver posed a public safety risk, which included traveling at high rates of speed, and failing to stop for red lights and stop signs. In one incident, pedestrians were put at risk while crossing at a crosswalk when the suspect failed to yield and continued through the intersection.

When the pursuit terminated on Stephens Avenue north of Beckwith Street, the suspect produced a handgun and fired. The officer returned fire from his departmental handgun. Immediately, officers on scene provided medical aid and called for EMS. The 21 year old male was taken to Saint Patrick’s Hospital, where he later passed away.

This was a tragic event for everyone involved. The Missoula Police Department extends our condolences to the family of the subject involved.

By the request of Missoula Police Chief Jaeson White, the Montana Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal investigation (DCI) is investigating the incident. When the investigation is complete, DCI will submit the case file to the Missoula County Attorney’s office Per MCA 46-4-201. Upon review the county coroner and the county attorney will schedule an inquest regarding the subject’s death.

KGVO will provide more information when it becomes available.

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