Coroner's Inquest for Miles Ave Shooting - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Coroner's Inquest for Miles Ave Shooting

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BILLINGS -

The first of a two day Coroner's Inquest in the officer involved shooting death of 29-year-old Daniel Brawley begun Tuesday. The inquest is to determine if Billings Police Officer Dave Punt was justified in shooting and killing Brawley.

On January 6th, Billings Police responded to a burglary in progress involving Daniel Brawley and wife Heather Brawley. Swat negotiators arrested the two without incident. Police then say Daniel Brawley was able to slip a hand out of the flex cuffs and was able to crawl through the partition of the police car. It was then Brawley tried to drive off in the police car.

"I heard somebody shout, he's got a car," says Billings Police Officer Seth Foster, who responded to the call. "I see a patrol car going in reverse. And I'll never forget this as long as I live, I see Officer Punt flying through the air."

Officer Punt then fired nine shots at his patrol car, which Brawley took control of, hitting and killing Brawley.

"It was clear to me that he (Brawley) had one motive and that was to get rid of us and get out of this area," says Billings Police Sergeant Jason Gartner. "Dave and I got hired together 20 years ago, and I don't think I've ever seen him look that stressed out in the 20 years I've known him."

Several officers, who responded to the stand off, testified about the actions of Officer Dave Punt.

"I absolutely think that he did what he had to do and I know it wasn't a decision that came too easily," says Sgt. Gartner.

Big Horn County Coroner Terry Bullis headed the hearing that is expected to end early Wednesday afternoon. Fifteen witnesses are expected to be called to the stand, including Officer Punt.

Heather Brawley, Daniel's wife, plead guilty to burglary last month.