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Details of Somers standoff suspect emerge

By Scott Zoltan, KECI Reporter, szoltan@keci.com
Published On: Feb 11 2013 09:29:54 PM MST
Details of Somers standoff suspect emerge
KALISPELL, Mont. -

A Somers man appeared in court on Monday after a stand-off with Flathead authorities over the weekend. 41-year old Christopher Cassidy was arrested after authorities got close enough to his Somers home to deploy tear gas.

Deputies say Cassidy had fired 80 to 100 rounds from his home using multiple weapons. Flathead Sheriff Chuck Curry says more than 80 marijuana plants were found at Cassidy’s home.

Later investigation found that no residents or houses were hit by gunfire. He’s been charged with felony criminal endangerment and felony criminal manufacturing of dangerous drugs.

At Cassidy’s initial court appearance, several friends, family members and firefighters stood up in support of Cassidy as his lawyer explained that the incident was a break from his normal character.  Cassidy is a volunteer firefighter with the Somers-Lakeside Volunteer Fire Department, and a local business owner.

NBC Montana spoke with one of Cassidy’s friends outside of the courtroom on Monday. A longtime friend, Kai Nielsen, says the allegations against Cassidy are unexpected and totally against his character.

“It’s hard to say where a person’s mind is at…but I believe that some alcohol was involved and he was just simply out of sorts and I’m not so sure that something didn’t happen to him while drinking at a tavern or something,” said Nielsen.