Lake County Sheriff Don Bell told KGVO News that just after 11 p.m. on Wednesday that he was contacted by authorities in Flathead County that a suspect was being pursued toward Lake County.

Bell said the suspect had discharged a firearm towards a group of people in Kalispell and then fled the scene with Flathead County deputies in pursuit.

“The suspect was identified as 28 year-old Dalton Leigh, and he was reported to be both homicidal and suicidal,” said Bell. “Lake County Deputies responded up the west shore to prepare to spike the pursued vehicle’s tires.  After entering Lake County, but prior to encountering the Lake County Deputies, the vehicle left the roadway entering the southbound ditch at about 60 mph, hit a driveway approach, and then came to a stop.”

Bell said responding officers then made a grisly discovery.

“Officers were able to confirm that Leigh was deceased inside the vehicle with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,” he said.  “Troopers from the Montana Highway Patrol responded to investigate the crash.  Pursuant to Montana Code Annotated, when a person dies while in custody of, or while being pursued by law enforcement, a Coroner’s investigation cannot be undertaken by the Coroner’s office in the jurisdiction where the death occurs, therefore, the Flathead County Coroner’s Office was requested to respond to conduct the investigation into cause and manner of death at the request of my office.”

Bell said the incident is now under investigation and no other information will be released.


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