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New details emerge, residents speak out following officer-involved St. Regis shooting

By Scott Zoltan, KECI Reporter, szoltan@keci.com
Published On: Jun 20 2013 07:13:57 PM MDT
Updated On: Jun 20 2013 08:22:24 PM MDT
ST. REGIS, Mont. -

Authorities have released new details following an officer-involved shooting in the Mineral County town of St. Regis Wednesday night. According to the Montana Department of Justice, which has taken over the investigation, officers received a call from a resident at 76 Monte Circle about a family disturbance.

Officers responded to the scene, and authorities say they heard a gunshot come from the residence. Deputies requested backup, and law enforcement officers realized that the suspect allegedly had left the residence.

Roughly two hours later, authorities say they found the suspect, and the man ignored commands to drop a rifle. Officials say the man raised the weapon toward officers, and a Montana Highway Patrol trooper shot and killed him.

“Stuff like this never happens here and unfortunately, now it has,” said St. Regis resident Travis Simkins, who tells NBC Montana that the man was shot right outside his house.

“It happened in my yard. I’m just happy my daughter wasn’t home to have to witness it,” said Simkins. “It was hard enough on me and my wife to have to see something like that, regardless have her see something like that.”

Simkins tells NBC Montana that word about the incident has spread quickly through town.

“They did what they had to do. It was unfortunate, what happened, but they did their job,” said Simkins.

Other residents told NBC Montana they were shocked to hear the news.

“I’ve lived here 13 years and I’ve never heard of any violence,” said St. Regis resident Jeff Tautges. “One of the reasons I live here is because I almost never hear sirens.”

Authorities have yet to release the deceased man’s name. The trooper who authorities say shot the man is on administrative leave.