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Park Co. Sheriff reflects on standoff surrender Wednesday night

Surrender didn't happen without a fight
Posted at 2:58 PM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-06 10:58:52-05

LIVINGSTON — “Given that circumstance, I think it probably ended about as good as it possibly could have.”

That’s what Park County Sheriff Brad Bichler says after an over 30-hour long standoff that resulted in no law enforcement injuries, and the surrender of the suspect, Michael Marfuta.

But that surrender didn’t come without a fight.

“So around 10 o’clock last night we were trying to reposition some of our tactical teams around the house,” said Bichler.

“As we were moving vehicles and stuff around, that’s when our suspect opened one of the doors of the residence and just engaged us with a large volley of gunfire.”

Sheriff Bichler says the suspect didn’t just open fire once at law enforcement, he engaged twice. That’s when the Gallatin County Special Response Team fired back.

The Park County Sheriff’s Office said Marfuta was injured in the exchange, and according to Bichler was shot somewhere on an upper limb.

“Basically he engaged us which forces my deputies to obviously engage him at that point, for obvious reasons,” said Bichler.

“And once that engagement happens, he was wounded by the exchange of gunfire, and then ultimately we were able to get back in contact with him. His wounds were not life-threatening and he came out and gave himself up.”

The standoff all started Tuesday afternoon after deputies attempted to serve an eviction notice to the suspect.

He reportedly threatened deputies with a knife, and later began shooting at law enforcement.

Marfuta is being charged with an outstanding warrant charging him with assault with a weapon and obstructing a peace officer.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, additional charges are pending including attempted homicide and criminal endangerment.

Marfuta will have an initial appearance in Park County Justice Court once his medical condition allows it.