Suspect wanted for stabbing man near Gallatin Valley Mall still at large

Bozeman City Police say fight started among group Wednesday evening
Posted at 6:57 PM, Oct 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 20:57:18-04

We're learning new information about the stabbing that happened Wednesday night near the Gallatin Valley Mall.

MTN's Cody Boyer and Gaby Krevat were the first media on-scene that night, noting that the west driveway into the mall parking lot next to Petco was closed off with crime scene tape and Bozeman City Police and Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputies were at several entrances.

As of this afternoon, officers confirm the suspect is still at large.

“It was not an isolated, random event," says Dep. Chief Jim Veltkamp, Bozeman City Police. “There was a prior confrontation between two parties."

Bozeman City Police say a man stabbed another man twice during a fight among a group of people near the Petco parking lot.

“It sounds like there were a couple of other people involved in the initial incident," Veltkamp says. "Detectives are still trying to follow up and find out what exactly their involvement was.”

The victim was sent to the hospital -- where he is still recovering from what the deputy chief says were considered serious injuries.

Veltkamp says the suspect had vanished, with witnesses saying he had ran toward the Gallatin Valley Mall.

“Officers and detectives did respond to the scene, did considerable checking of the area, including the mall to make sure that there was no further threat," Veltkamp says.

City police confirm that mall was not evacuated.

Rather, the employees and patrons inside were told to either stay in place or if they were to leave on their own will, they could not go back in.

“We were just trying to encourage people not to, once they left, to avoid the area," Veltkamp says. "It makes it a lot easier to try to determine what happened, to look for possible evidence.”

As for the suspect, he remains at large.

No one else was hurt and no one else was in any danger, according to police.

Veltkamp says with the help of a K-9 unit, the search was methodical and organized, as will be the rest of the investigation.

“We do have some leads in this in regards to this incident," Veltkamp says. "Having the community’s involvement to help us solve cases like this always helps.”

Bozeman City Police are not releasing a description of the suspect or a description of any vehicle that may have been involved at this time.

And while the K-9 unit did search the grounds near Petco for key evidence, Veltkamp says that they cannot confirm if anything was found.

We’ll continue to update you as this investigation continues.