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Phillips County reveals info on shooting incident


Last updated 8/5/2016 at 2:42am

Ambrose Mecklenburg was walking down the middle of Highway 191 wearing only underwear prior to his fatal confrontation with Deputy Alan Guderjahn July 27.

Mecklenburg died when he was shot and killed by the deputy after Mecklenburg repeatedly stabbed Guderjahn, a release from the Phillips County Sheriff’s Department says.

The release gave this account of the incident:

A motorist called 911 dispatch at 3:09 a.m. reporting that a man was walking down the road wearing only underwear.

The motorist said he stopped and asked Mecklenburg if he could help. When his offers were refused the motorist gave the man a spare sweatshirt he had in his car and continued traveling until he had cellphone service. He called 911, and dispatch sent Guderjahn to the scene.

Guderjahn searched the area for a while until he spotted a man in the highway he recognized as Mecklenburg.

He stopped and offered Mecklenburg a ride into Malta, but the offer was refused.

“While speaking with Mecklenburg, Mecklenburg pulled a knife and attacked Guderjahn without warning,” the sheriff’s department press release said.

“Deputy Guderjahn tried to subdue Mecklenburg,” the release said.

“Deputy Guderjahn was forced to deploy lethal force by discharging his firearm which resulted in the death of Mecklenburg,” the release said.

In the altercation, the deputy sustained several cuts and stab wounds to his head, arm and torso.

Guderjahn attempted to render first aid to himself, but because of the quantity of cuts, their location and the amount of blood losswas unable to do so. Passing motorists helped him until a fellow deputy arrived and drove him in a patrol car to meet up with an ambulance that took him to Phillips County Hospital. He was then transported to Benefis Medical Center in Great Falls.

He was released three days later and has returned home.

Sheriff’s deputies took control of the scene, the press release said, and the matter was turned over to the Montana Justice Department, which is required to investigate officer-involved shootings.

Evidence is being collected and interviews are taking place, the sheriff’s department said.

Phillips County Sheriff Scott Moran said that without the help of passersby, who stopped to offer a hand, the injured deputy would have had a much harder time.


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