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Investigation ongoing after man dies in Missoula Police custody

Missoula Police In Custody Death Map
Posted at 7:43 PM, May 29, 2024

MISSOULA — An investigation is ongoing after a man died in Missoula Police custody on Wednesday, May 29, according to a news release from Missoula Police Department spokeswoman Whitney Bennett.

The incident happened just before 1:30 p.m. when Missoula Police and the Missoula Rural Fire District responded to the 2400 block of Dixon Avenue to a report of a structure fire.

Police believe the fire was likely caused by a criminal act.

Missoula Police In Custody Death Map

Bennett says officers tried to detain a 39-year-old man related to the investigation but that the man was uncooperative and resisted arrest. After a prolonged physical altercation, he became unresponsive, according to the release.

Officers used Narcan, an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), and performed CPR until medical professionals arrived. The man died at the scene, the release states.

The officers involved in the case have been placed on administrative leave.

The Montana Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is leading an independent investigation into the incident.

Read the full news release from the Missoula Police Department below:

Missoula Police Department Statement on Officer Involved Critical Incident

Missoula, MT – May 29, 2024- The Missoula Police Department is issuing this statement regarding a tragic incident that occurred earlier today resulting in the death of a 39-year-old male in police custody.

Just before 1:30 PM, Missoula Police Officers were dispatched with Missoula Rural Fire Department to the 2400 block of Dixon Avenue to a report of a structure fire, likely caused by a criminal act. Upon arrival, officers attempted to detain a male related to this investigation. The male was uncooperative and resisted arrest. After a prolonged physical altercation, the male became unresponsive.

Officers administered Narcan, performed CPR and deployed an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) until medical professionals arrived. The male was pronounced deceased at the scene. The Missoula Police Department extends its deepest sympathies to the decedent’s family for the loss of their loved one.

This is a deeply concerning situation that affects us all, as law enforcement professionals, we are sworn to preserve and protect life. The Missoula Police Department requested the Montana Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) investigate this incident. DCI is leading an independent investigation into this incident and the Missoula Police Department is cooperating fully with their investigation.

Per our department policy, the involved officers have been placed on administrative leave. We ask for the community’s patience and understanding as the investigation proceeds.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the DCI. We are committed to being open and transparent throughout this investigation and the Missoula Police Department will provide updates to the community as more information becomes available.