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A murder suspect from Great Falls was found dead in Pondera County, where he had fled after committing the crime



Great Falls, Montana – On Friday night, a man who had been suspected of murder in Great Falls shot and killed himself in Pondera County (March 17, 2023).
According to reports, the suspect ran away from a crime scene that was located in the West Hill neighborhood of Great Falls. The suspect’s name has not yet been made public.
The Great Falls Police Department was conducting an investigation at the location on Friday evening. At the time, they did not release any details about the investigation and stated only that it was a “serious incident.”

It was late Saturday morning when the GFPD reported that dispatchers started receiving reports at 5:40 p.m. that neighbors on the 1400 block of Third West Hill Drive were hearing gunshots coming from a residence in the neighborhood.

Officers who arrived on the scene discovered one individual dead from what appeared to be a gunshot wound. It was discovered by the officers that the suspect had left the residence only a few minutes before their arrival.

A short while later, a large number of law enforcement officers were spotted rushing to Valier, which is located in Pondera County.

In a press release, the sheriff of Pondera County, Robert Skorupa, said that deputies were informed that the person suspected of carrying out the murder had left Great Falls and was driving a black GMC truck.

A deputy with the Pondera County Sheriff’s Office located the truck on Highway 44 close to Conrad at approximately 7:45 p.m. When deputies attempted to get in touch with the suspect, he got into his car and drove away in the direction of the west. Deputies then began to chase after the suspect.

Pondera County Sheriff Robert Skorupa said on Saturday: “At approximately 7:30 yesterday evening, we were contacted about a homicide that took place in Great Falls. The dispatcher had received some information and called our deputies. They had a pretty good description of the vehicle. My Valier deputy went to Conrad to talk with the dispatcher.”

He continued, “On his way there, he noticed a vehicle off of (Highway) 44 parked. At that moment, he didn’t know the description, so he went to Conrad to talk to dispatch. He said, ‘That vehicle is parked on 44, about mile marker 25.’ The Conrad deputy came down and found the vehicle that was still there. They came to approach the vehicle and it started onto 44 Westbound.”

Until the suspect brandished a revolver and fired two rounds at the deputies at mile marker 13, Sheriff Skorupa stated that speeds were acceptable.

The pursuit continued into Valier, where it came to an end at the Valier Pavilion boat ramp, where law enforcement officers were able to prevent the suspect from escaping.

At that point, officers from other agencies, such as the Great Falls Police Department, the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office, the Montana Highway Patrol, the Glacier, and Toole County Sheriff’s Offices, the Conrad Police Department, Blackfeet Law Enforcement, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the FBI, had arrived on the scene.

Sheriff Skorupa stated that deputies and negotiators worked for approximately three hours to try to coax the suspect into peacefully surrendering, but he ended up shooting himself around 11 p.m.

The death of the suspect will be the subject of an investigation that will be carried out by the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.

An autopsy will be performed on the body at the Montana State Crime Laboratory, and at a later date, an inquest will be presided over by a Coroner from a different county.

At this time, neither the name of the murder victim who was found dead in Great Falls nor the name of the person suspected of the crime has been made public.

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