Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On February 20, 2024, at approximately 1:40 PM, a Missoula Police Department Officer responded to a reported assault with a weapon involving a firearm. The officer spoke with the complainant who explained that he was driving westbound on I-90 past the Van Buren on-ramp.

He said a white Saturn SUV attempted to merge onto the Interstate, but a semi-truck partially blocked the Saturn from doing so. The semi eventually merged into the passing lane, and the Saturn made it onto the Interstate. The driver of the Saturn then “flipped off” the semi-driver. The Saturn then exited the Interstate at Orange Street.  

The complainant said he followed the Saturn on his normal route to work. In a neighborhood area, the Saturn’s driver allegedly pulled out what appeared to be an “AK” firearm and brandished it outside the driver’s window.  

RELATED: Missoula News – Crime Reports 

The complainant explained that the driver then pointed the firearm at him. According to court documents, the complainant told the officer that he believed that he was going to die in that moment. The Saturn ultimately turned right while the complainant proceeded straight. 

Shortly thereafter, law enforcement located the Saturn parked at an apartment complex. An elderly woman identified the owner’s apartment. The officer knocked on the door and contacted 44-year-old Samuel Fairbanks.  

Fairbanks stated that a semi-truck nearly ran him off the road, so he became upset. Thereafter, he said a black truck was “hauling a** on my rear end for some reason.” Fairbanks admitted to pulling an unloaded rifle. He stated that he had the rifle because an unrelated individual pulled a gun on him on an earlier date.  

Fairbanks also said that he felt threatened by the truck. Fairbanks gave the officer permission to retrieve the firearm from his vehicle. Inside, the officer located an SKS rifle. Fairbanks mentioned again that the gun was not loaded during the incident. 

Fairbanks is currently being charged with felony assault with a weapon.

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable. 

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