UPDATE: 4:03 p.m. - December 3, 2023)
An investigation is continuing after what Missoula Police are calling the "vicious" assault of a teenager on Friday, December 1, 2023.
The Missoula Police Department reports that a juvenile male was lured into a house in the 1400 block of Van Buren Street. MPD says the boy was then assaulted by six other juvenile males around the same age.
MPD spokeswoman Whitney Bennett tells MTN News the victim received medical attention after reporting the assault to officers two days later. His injuries were not life-threatening.
Bennett adds the suspects and the victim are all between 15 to 17 years old. She says they are still trying to determine a motive behind the assault.
"So, at this time, we’re still in the ongoing investigation and sorting through what initiated the assault. We don’t know exactly [the] circumstances leading up to it. Sounds like there is potentially background between the parties. However, that’s why we’re conducting such a thorough investigation...so that we can figure out what the reasoning behind it is."
Anyone with information about the assault is asked to contact the Missoula Police Department at 406-552-6300.
(first report: 11:41 a.m. - December 4, 2023)
The Missoula Police Department is investigating what is being called a "vicious assault" that occurred on Friday night.
MPD spokeswoman Whitney Bennett reports the incident happened in the 1400 block of Van Buren Street in the Rattlesnake area when a male juvenile victim was lured into a home where he was subjected to a "brutal assault by six suspect juvenile males".
"The Missoula Police Department condemns this heinous act and is committed to bringing those responsible to justice. We want to express our unwavering support for the victim and their loved ones as they navigate the aftermath of this traumatic incident," a news release states.
The release notes videos of the assault have been circulating on social media platforms and "We strongly urge the public to refrain from participating in the dissemination of these videos. Instead, we ask for your cooperation in preserving the victim's dignity and privacy."
Anyone with information about the assault is asked to contact Detective Captain Eddie McClean at 406-552-6332. Bennett says three male suspects are currently in custody, and that the investigation may lead to additional arrests.
"Our dedicated team of investigators, in collaboration with the County Attorney’s Office, is working tirelessly on this case. We take this matter very seriously and are working diligently in an effort to hold those responsible, accountable for their actions," the release states. "This violent act has no place in Missoula, and the Missoula Police Department is committed to ensuring our community remains a safe and inclusive space for all."
People can also report tips anonymously to Crimestoppers at 406-721-4444.