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By Tristan 

Billings police kill parole violator who fired at officers


AP Photo/Billings Gazette, Paul Ruhter

Billings Police Chief Rich St. John gives a press conference in downtown Billings on Thursday, after an officer-related shooting at the Holiday Station and ended with a suspect being shot and killed by a city officer at the Dude Rancher Lodge.

BILLINGS (AP) — Police in Billings shot and killed a man wanted on a felony warrant early Thursday after he shot at officers who tried to apprehend him at a gas station and later exchanged gunfire with police at a downtown motel, Chief Rich St. John said.

No one else was injured.

Officers spotted the man at a gas station at about 3:30 a.m. Two officers tried to arrest him in the convenience store, but the man ran away "and at some point pulled a semi-automatic handgun and fired several shots at the officers," St. John said.

"Fortunately, the rounds missed the officers, the clerk and several patrons," he told The Billings Gazette.

The 29-year-old Billings man, who was wanted for a parole violation, then ran across the street and through a bank parking lot.

The man fired several more shots at the officers while running away, but officers didn't return fire because civilians were in the area, St. John said.

The officers learned the man had locked himself in a bathroom at the nearby Dude Rancher Lodge. Police found him at 4:16 a.m.

"Although we continue to investigate exactly what transpired, it appears that the suspect fired several rounds through the door, then came out of the bathroom and charged the officers while shooting," St. John told The Gazette.

The officers shot the man, causing fatal injuries. His name has not been released.

The three officers involved in the shootings were placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure. Counseling, debriefing sessions and other resources will be made available to them.

The officers were identified as Sgt. Shawn Mayo and officers Mark Snyder and Mike Yarina.

St. John said the investigation will take some time because the crime scene covers such a large area and the scene at the motel is "extremely complex."


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