A Billings, Mont. police officer is now on administrative leave following a Grandstand Casino likely shooting earlier this month. A deputy was injured, and another man required hospital treatment from the incident, KTVQ, a local TV station, reported.
The apparent shooting took place on Jan. 15 outside the gaming property. Several officers had been at the casino socializing, according to KULR, another local TV station.
The officer, deputy, and a civilian were in the venue’s parking area when a Chevy Malibu drove into the lot and stopped near the officers. A driver and passenger were inside the Chevy.
The driver brandished a firearm. That led the officer and deputy to reach into the Chevy to attempt to confiscate the handgun, KULR said. The civilian apprehended the passenger and got the person out of the car. The civilian also tried to grab the gun away from the driver.
The firearm discharged during the struggle. Initial reports said a bullet fragment wounded the deputy in the face. He was not believed to be seriously injured.
Car Drags Officer
The driver then allegedly hit the gas. The car dragged the officer who was holding onto the driver’s side of the Chevy. The civilian was holding onto the passenger’s side. The civilian was also dragged.
But the two soon were able to break free. The Malibu then fled from the lot.
The car got into a collision nearby. The driver was seriously injured, police revealed. But the driver is likely to survive, the report said.
So far, there have been no arrests in the case. Police said the driver was a 24-year-old Billings, Mont. man. Officers did not immediately release his name.
The injured police officer is Matt Frank. Placing him on leave is standard policy following such an altercation. Frank has been with the police department for nine years.
“At this time, investigators have yet to confirm if the gun was ever fired during the incident, and are still trying to determine all of the circumstances surrounding the disturbance from beginning to end,” police said in a statement released to KTVQ last week.
State Police Assume Inquiry
Following standard practices, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigations has taken over the investigation of the incident. State officers will review evidence and statements from witnesses.
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