Alleged Fugitive Shot Dead in Billings - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Alleged Fugitive Shot Dead in Billings

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BILLINGS -

Yellowstone County deputies cornered the man they believe escaped from the Montana state prison on the Billings West End this afternoon. Shots were then fired, leaving the alleged fugitive dead.

The sheriffs office received a tip that Dean Randolph Jess, the man who escaped from the Montana state prison in Deer Lodge on Monday was in the area. They tracked him down to the area near the Walmart in the West End and found a vehicle fitting the description they were looking for. And the situation only escalated from there.

Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder said his deputies approached the subject in his vehicle, called him by name, and asked him to turn off the car. The subject refused, despite multiple attempts by police to encourage him to cooperate. The car's doors were also locked.

An unnamed sheriff's deputy noticed the subject go down to reach for what was suspected to be a gun. That was when the deputy responded with deadly force.

"The deputy felt his life was in danger and that justifies it," said Sheriff Linder.

Sheriff Linder says he trusts the judgement of this deputy who has over fifteen years of experience in law enforcement.

"Whether or not there's time to bring in a trained negotiator or something is pretty much up to the guy with the gun. Whether or not he's going to try to take action, whether or not he's going to flee the scene, whether or not he's going to try shooting individuals and force us to shoot him, we don't know what his frame of mind is," said Sheriff Linder.

The deputy involved has been placed administrative leave and no officers were injured in the shoot out.

Traffic along King Avenue West was shut down for hours Friday afternoon while deputies investigated, but has since reopened.

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