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Investigation wraps up after incident outside Law & Justice Center

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Posted at 4:37 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 20:52:04-05

BOZEMAN — Tire marks left in front of the Law and Justice Center are all that remain from an incident that had the potential to hurt a lot of people.

“I mean who knows what the outcome could have been, (I) don’t like to play the what-if game. But certainly, anytime that someone is in a state of crisis it’s concerning, and so you never know what the results may be,” explained Gallatin County Interim Sheriff Dan Springer.

On Friday night, a man drove his truck into the steps of the building before taking his own life. Members of the Lewis & Clark Bomb squad had to come from Helena because there was a suspicious package in the back of his truck.

“Like a package taped up, fairly large box taped up. Ultimately, (it) had some gifts inside of it. But there were no markings on it, so a little unusual,” he said.

The man never made it inside of the building, and it’s unlikely he would have been able to make it past the security checkpoint.

“There’s signs posted all over as you come through here: knives, pepper spray, weapons, anything like that that people tend to have on their person’s,” said Security Civil Sergeant Jamie Young.

And for the most part, there haven't been any problems.

“We’re pretty understanding. It’s Montana. Everybody tends to have a pocket knife with them. For the most part, people are pretty civil about it. They’ll take it right back out to their vehicles,” said Young.

There were no injuries from any bystanders or employees of the Law and Justice Center.

“It just makes sense. Right? We want to make sure that we can try and keep things as safe as possible here. We don’t want any harm done to the judges or in the courtroom or those kinds of things," explained Sheriff Springer.

So where does the investigation go from here?

“Essentially, it’s over. The coroner’s office takes over the investigation, so other than that essentially, it’s closed at this point,” Springer explained.

The Law and Justice Center is open for operation during its normal business hours.