BOZEMAN — Just a few months ago, Bozeman police were involved in a standoff that ended with one man dead on Greenmore Court. The Gallatin County Attorney's office is now going to hold a Coroner's Inquest, and neighbors who live here still have mixed feelings about the incident.
"Five officers, unfortunately, had to engage him in an officer-involved shooting. After that, they waited a short period of time until they could safely approach with a shield to ensure no one else was further hurt. And they did observe that the male was deceased," Police Chief Jim Veltkamp said on April 3 after 39-year-old Michael Rogel of Bozeman was shot and killed by police.
According to a press release, officers initially responded to a call on Bungalow Lane, stating Rogel had a shotgun and believed people were on their way to kill him. When officers arrived, Rogel allegedly drove off and quickly became stuck in the snow on Greenmore Court. Officers reportedly tried to talk to Rogel for about 30 minutes before shooting and killing him and his dog.
I spoke with several neighbors who live in the area. One told me the shooting was “a bit of an overreaction.” Another says, “The police did what they had to do.”
On Oct. 30, the Gallatin County Attorney’s Office will hold a Coroner's Inquest, which is a formal inquiry into the causes and circumstances surrounding the death of a person caused by a police officer.
After hearing all the evidence, jurors will render a verdict, which must be a majority vote, that will determine who the deceased person is, when, where, and how the deceased died, if the deceased died by criminal means, and if it was criminal means then who committed the act, if known.