UPDATE: Coroner identifies man killed in Saturday's police-involved shooting

Update: Yellowstone County Assistant Coroner Cliff Mahoney identifies the man killed in Saturday's police-involved shooting as 24-year-old Preston David Bell. 

Mahoney said he died of multiple gunshot wounds by police. He said he isn't positive how many shots Bell was hit by.


One person is dead following a police-involved shooting on the 400 block of Bunting Street in Billings Southside Saturday.

Five officers have been placed on administrative leave as per officer-involved shooting protocol.

Police Chief Rich St. John says that the deceased is a 24-year-old Native American male with addresses listed in Billings and Hardin.

The suspects name will not be released until after family members are notified.

Police Chief Rich St. John says the shooting followed a series of incidents that began late Friday Night.

At 11:15 p.m. officers were dispatched to the 100 block of Prickett Lane on a disorderly male. Chief St. John says that when officers arrived he used his flatbed pickup to ram the caller's car twice before leaving.

Chief St. John says the people involved had previously been in a relationship. No-one was injured at that time. Chief St. John says that the suspect was observed by an officer 10 minutes later heading back to the residence.

The officer attempted to stop the suspect who chose not to comply and left the scene heading East on Central Avenue.

At 11:40 p.m. officers gave chase, but the suspect failed to stop. The pursuit was called off after only 30 seconds. At that point, the suspect was last seen driving South on South Billings Boulevard.

Officers learned who the suspect was, that he was intoxicated, and possibly armed with a knife. They believed he may be heading to a residence on Bunting Street.

An officer on South Billings Boulevard saw the suspect vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed a short time later and gave chase.

The pursuit made its way up to Moore Lane and onto Laurel Road and ultimately back onto Central Avenue. Eventually, the suspect ended up driving South on Shiloh on the wrong side of the road before turning back East on Monad. At this point, police again terminated the pursuit which had reached speeds of 60 miles an hour.

The suspect was believed to be heading for his mothers home on Bunting Street.

At 12:10 a.m. officers observed the suspect's vehicle parked in a parking spot in a parking lot. The suspect was slumped over the wheel and not obeying commands.

Spike strips were placed behind the vehicle's wheels and parked patrol vehicles around it.

Chief St. John says that officers identified themselves and eventually deployed pepper spray into the vehicle with no effect. After about 3-minutes the suspect woke up.

The suspect was then observed reaching into the glove box.

The suspect continued to ignore commands and then without warning accelerated backward striking a patrol car. The vehicle continued across the parking lot and hit a parked mini-van.

The suspect then accelerated forward and hit the same patrol car pushing it into another patrol car. Officers on foot had to scatter to avoid being hit.

At 12:13 a.m. five officers, two with patrol rifles and three using handguns, fired at the vehicle striking the suspect hitting him multiple times.

It's unknown how many shots were fired and if the suspect had a weapon.

Officer immediately secured the suspect and rendered first aid until medical arrived. It was later determined that the suspect was dead.

No-one else was injured.

You can watch Police Chief Rich St. John's press conference here.

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