One dead after officer-involved shooting near East Helena

One man is dead after a welfare check turned into an officer-involved shooting late Thursday night near East Helena.

Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton says the initial call to 911 came in at 10:20 p.m. from the girlfriend of a man who, she says, had sent her pictures of him cutting himself.

Deputies arrived at the residence on Casper Drive and, having been informed that he was armed with a handgun, began to negotiate with him.

Ultimately, Dutton reports that one of his deputies had to fire his weapon to protect himself and other individuals present. That occurred shortly before midnight.

As per procedure, the deputy has been placed on administrative leave, and Dutton has requested assistance form the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation in conducting an investigation of the incident. Dutton will also conduct an internal investigation, the results of which may be available by the end of next week. The DCI’s investigation is likely to take as much as a month to conclude.

Dutton says he is likely to release the name of the deputy involved on Monday, and expects it will also be several days until County Coroner Bryan Backeberg releases any information about the man killed.

The last officer-involved shooting involving the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Department as in May 2013, about a mile from where Thursday night’s incident took place, in what Dutton called a suicide-by-cop.