16-year-old shooting suspect apprehended
New from the Ronan Police Department
RONAN – The Ronan Police Department has been actively working a shooting investigation that took place on Thursday, Nov. 15, at the 300 block of 12th Ave., northwest.
At approximately 4:33 p.m., Ronan Police Department officers were advised that there was an individual seeking treatment at St. Luke Community Healthcare hospital for a gunshot wound. Responding officers determined that the 25-year-old shooting victim, who is in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries, had been shot at a residence. Initial investigations showed that the shooting suspect was a 16-year-old juvenile. A 33-year-old male was also being sought as a person of interest in the investigation. Names are not being released pending further investigation.
Officers were able to locate the suspect’s vehicle used during the incident and interviewed the occupants. Based on information obtained during interviews, officers followed leads for possible locations on the suspect. Searches were performed and additional information was gathered.
Despite efforts by the Ronan Police Department with the assistance of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Law and Order, Montana Highway Patrol and the St. Ignatius Police Department, the suspect was not initially apprehended.
On Saturday, Nov. 17, a CSKT Tribal officer saw our suspect in a vehicle in the Pablo area. The officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle to apprehend the 16-year-old juvenile for the shooting incident that took place in Ronan.
The vehicle failed to yield and a pursuit ensued. The CSKT Tribal officer asked for assistance from the Ronan Police Department K9 team as well as the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. During the pursuit, a 9mm handgun was thrown from the vehicle and the occupants inside of the vehicle switched spots while the vehicle was being pursued. This put the shooting suspect into the driver’s seat. The pursuit continued until the vehicle crashed and overturned on Duck Road. Occupants were ejected from the vehicle. The vehicle was on fire and Charlo and Ronan fire departments were called to the scene along with Ronan/Polson Ambulance Service.
The 16-year-old shooting suspect fled on foot and was eventually taken into custody by law enforcement with the use of Ronan Police K9 Sandor. All four occupants involved were taken to hospitals in Ronan, Polson and Missoula to be treated for their injuries. The suspect was taken into custody and transported to a secure facility in Missoula by the Ronan Police Department.
The Ronan Police Department would like to thank the CSKT Tribal Law and Order, Lake County Attorney’s Office, Lake County Youth Court, Lake County Dispatch, Montana Highway Patrol, St. Ignatius Police Department and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office for their cooperation and assistance in the case.
We are grateful for the communities support and their tips during the course of this investigation.