Downtown On Lock-Down

Downtown missoula went on lock-down while the police department blitzed the entire downtown and surrounding area.


The Missoula police department put the entirety of downtown Missoula on lock-down Wednesday afternoon after an unknown suspect shot out the rear window of a police cruiser near the courthouse. Hellgate High school went on perimeter lock-down for over an hour after the shooting, and many buildings similarly went on perimeter lock-down to avoid the potential of a suspect hiding inside. By end of the day on Monday, the police did not have any suspects.

Despite the lack of suspects, most lock-downs were lifted my mid afternoon on Tuesday. Officers are still working to figure out what happened. The police department enlisted the aid of officers from all over to clear the downtown area.

“There are multiple officers working to unravel what happened this morning, trying to determine, if they can, a person that’s responsible,”

Missoula Police Sgt. Travis Welsh

All public services ground to a halt Wednesday when officers armed with rifles told anyone trying to enter the downtown area that they needed to turn around. Many businesses downtown were advised to lock their doors and keep everyone inside. City employees were told either to draw their blinds and stay inside, or were filtered out of the building. This was all in an effort to keep all city employees away from any threat.


The unnamed officer was traveling northbound in the 400 block of woody street at 9:44 AM Wednesday when he reported shots fired into the rear window of his cruiser. Welsh told Missoulian reporters that the officer immediately took cover and prepared for an encounter with a suspected shooter.

Law enforcement secured the area with heavily armed units on the ground, snipers on the rooftops, and state surveillance in the air. Police began canvasing the area and questioning witnesses. Police also secured all city buildings, including the courthouse and providence hospital. At this time there is still no suspect, but all officers are on alert for threats including more shootings or potential terrorism.

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