Deputy shot and killed near Three Forks, suspects arrested after shootout

Tomas Mccoy
May 23, 2017

A southwestern Montana sheriff's deputy was killed in a shootout with two suspects during a traffic stop Tuesday morning.

Dispatchers lost contact with the deputy at about 3 a.m. Tuesday, Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin said.

A statewide alert was issued for the suspect vehicle and it was spotted near Anaconda, about 80 miles west of where the deputy was found dead, where a pursuit began. Deputies deployed a spike strip, but were unable to stop the vehicle.

There, Barrus got out of the SUV and began firing at officers. The driver of the SUV has been arrested and a passenger was shot by law enforcement and taken to the hospital.

The driver, Lloyd Barrus, 61, was arrested on suspicion of deliberate homicide.

The Broadwater County Sheriff's Office has identified the deputy killed as Mason Moore, who had worked at the department for three years.

"It's hard to adequately describe how devastating it feels to lose one of our own in the line of duty", said Sheriff Wynn Meehan. He is 38-year-old Marshall Barrus of Belgrade, Montana. Barrus is the father of the other suspect, Gootkin said. "We send our condolences to the Moore family and his colleagues at the Broadwater County Sheriff's Office". "I stand with law enforcement and I am deeply grateful for all they do to keep Montana safe".

The suspects eventually stopped and the Butte officer and other officers engaged in a firefight.

Lester said the investigation of the slaying and chase is being conducted by the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation and the Missoula County Sheriff's Office.

At this time, Highway 287 from I-90 to MT 2 is closed out of Three Forks as the investigation continues.

Moore died less than two miles away from where a state Highway Patrol trooper was shot and killed in 2010. His condition has not been released but Missoula County officials said he is in custody.

The nation marked Peace Officers Memorial Day on Monday.

The names of the officer and the suspects have not been released.

The suspects came out of their auto and started shooting at officers.

Law enforcement personnel investigate the scene of a shootout on Interstate 90 east of Missoula following a high-speed chase Tuesday, May 16, 2017. The driver of the SUV has been arrested and a passenger was shot by law enforcement and taken to the hospital.

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