Armed gunmen may be in stolen white pickup truck in Billings area, sheriff says

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Update 3:15 p.m. Law enforcement say they believe two armed suspects at large Thursday in Billings may be in a stolen white Ford pickup truck.

Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder said the vehicle is a 2016 Ford one-ton pickup, with a black grill guard on the front, four doors, a bail handler in the flat bed and Yellowstone County plates. It was reported stolen on Cline Road north of Billings.

In addition, one person was injured, possibly from a gunshot, in Shepherd after chasing the two suspects after they stole his property, Linder said.

The two suspects, both male, one thought to be Caucasian and other thought to be Native American, are presumed to be armed and dangerous, Billings Police Chief Rich St. John said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

The manhunt started in Shepherd early in the morning, when a property owner interrupted a robbery of his truck’s loading ramp. The ramp owner chased off the two men, who opened fire on him with a rifle, Linder said. Linder told Q2 Thursday afternoon that he is not sure the extent of the property owner’s wounds, but that the man was injured while giving chase.

The Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office began to pursue the two men and followed them into Billings city limits, where Billings police joined the hunt.

The two suspects made their way into the neighborhood along Alkali Creek near the Heights after 9:30 a.m. St. John said he thinks the two were unfamiliar with the area because they turned down a dead-end street near the base of the Rims. Realizing they could go no further in their vehicle, they abandoned it and set off on foot near the wooded and rocky area near Alkali Creek Elementary School.

Both St. John and Linder have said that multiple departments including SWAT, Montana Highway Patrol and even the US Marshals have all been aiding in the search throughout the day.
Shortly after 12:15, the search in the Alkali Creek area was called off. Linder said that they did a thorough sweep of the area and they are fairly confident, given the terrain, that if the suspects were still there, they would have been found.

No word yet as to where these two men are as of 3 p.m., but authorities are now casting a wider search net. Anyone with information about this truck or these suspects is asked to call authorities.
This is a developing story.



12:25 p.m. Update: Billings police said they have suspended the search for the gunmen.

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11:25 a.m. Update: Police continue to search for two gunmen in the Heights.

Law enforcement was still set up on the west face of the Rimrocks above Alkali Creek School. About 10:45 a.m. a group of Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office SWAT members headed on foot into the creek area east of the school.

Police have not provided a description of the suspects.

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9:30 a.m. UPDATE: Police are asking residents in the area to lock their doors and shelter inside.

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BILLINGS – Billings police are searching for two armed gunmen in the Heights.

Police posted on Twitter shortly before 9 a.m. that there is heavy police presence in the area of Alkali Creek and Sahara.

Tactical teams were responding to the area.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


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