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Southwestern Montana Sheriff Deputy Killed In Shootout

A Broadwater County sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed early Tuesday morning along U.S. Highway 287 near Three Forks.

Broadwater County identified the slain deputy as Mason Moore, a three-year veteran of the department.

According to Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin, Moore was pursuing a vehicle on the highway at about 3 a.m. when dispatchers lost contact with the deputy.

Deputies from Gallatin County and the Montana Highway Patrol responded and found Moore dead.

The suspects are a father and son. The father, Lloyd Montier Barrus, 61, is in custody. His son, Marshall Barrus, 39, was taken to the hospital after being shot by officers east of Missoula. The elder Barrus’ last known address was in Bakersfield, California. His son was reportedly living in Gallatin County.

Lloyd Barrus was booked into the Missoula County jail at 7:20 a.m. on a charge of deliberate homicide.

Investigators found Deputy Moore and his patrol vehicle a couple of miles south of the Town Pump station off of U.S. 287 and used its dashboard camera video to identify the other vehicle involved in the incident, an SUV with California plates, Gootkin said.

That SUV was later located in Butte-Silver Bow County near Anaconda, and a chase began that ended about 35 miles east of Missoula, according to the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office.

The vehicle’s tires were flattened by spike strips at mile marker 162 in Powell County, but the SUV continued west, eventually stopping just east of Rock Creek.

The passenger got out and began shooting at officers, the Missoula County Sherif’s Office said in a statement. He was shot and taken to a hospital. The driver was taken into custody without further incident.

At least six law enforcement agencies were investigating, including sheriff’s offices in Broadwater, Gallatin, Park, Madison, Missoula and Lewis and Clark counties, along with the highway patrol and the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation.

The Broadwater County Attorney is consulting with the Missoula County Attorney, and charges will be filed at a later time, according to a statement from Gootkin.

The Broadwater County Sheriff’s Office said Deputy Moore had a wife and three kids.

The shooting happened less than two miles from where highway patrol Trooper David Delaittre was shot and killed in December 2010.

Marshall has criminal history in both Alaska and Montana, including a conviction for felony criminal mischief and a pending felony burglary charge both in Gallatin County.

According to records, Marshall also has two DUI convictions in Montana in 2009 and 2011, a well as a DUI conviction in Alaska.

Marshall was arrested by Belgrade police in November after a couple reported he had broken into their home, assaulted the wife and threatened to kill the husband a landlord dispute.

Marshall was charged with felony burglary and misdemeanor disorderly conduct. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in January and is scheduled to go to trial in July.

According to charging documents:

On Nov. 23 at about 9 p.m., Belgrade officers responded to a trespass in process at a 10th Street residence.

A woman reported that someone had banged on her door. When she opened it a little to see who it was, she said Marshall pushed his way into the home, pushing her in the stomach as well. Marshall began yelling at the woman’s husband, threatening to kill the man, she said. Another man who was in the home at the time called police and Marshall fled.

The woman said she had been in a dispute with their landlord, and that Marshall was friends with the landlord’s daughter.

Marshall was later found hiding at a friend’s house. He appeared to be intoxicated and was taken to the Belgrade Police Department for questioning. He refused to be interviewed.

At the time of his November arrest, court records say he had been living back in Gallatin County for only a month.

In 2010, Barrus plead guilty in Gallatin County of felony criminal mischief and received a three-year deferred sentence. The charge stemmed from a March 2009 incident where Marshall reportedly kicked in a door at a Bozeman apartment.

According to charging documents, Marshall was arrested after he reportedly kicked in the front door and broke a window and a grandfather clock at a Mason Street home. Marshall was heavily intoxicated and made several incoherent statements to an officer about running from people with guns who were trying to kill him. He said he went into the home to try to find help. An officer noted that there were no tracks in the snow that indicated anyone else was involved in the incident.

In sentencing Marshall, Gallatin County District Court Judge John Brown noted that in addition to being drunk at the time, Marhsall had also inhaled some methamphetamine prior to the incident.

“Mr. Barrus, you need to understand that this really could have been a serious situation if the owners had been home, this being Montana, because you could have been shot,” Brown said.

Gallatin County Justice Court records show Barrus also has misdemeanor citations for a second DUI, driving while suspended, no liability insurance and others.

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