A Broadwater County Sheriff's deputy with only three years on the job and a wife and three children at home was shot and killed early Tuesday while trying to make a traffic stop. The driver of the SUV has been arrested and the passenger was shot by law enforcement and taken to the hospital.
Moore had been a deputy for three years and is the 129th Montana law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty since 1878.
Authorities say Broadwater County deputy Mason Moore was pursuing a vehicle when dispatchers lost contact with him at about 3 a.m.
Deputy Mason Moore was involved in the pursuit along U.S. Highway 287 near Three Forks around 3 a.m. when the shooting occurred, according to The Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
The deputy's patrol auto was found in a ditch and its dashboard camera video was used to identify the vehicle being pursued.
A statewide alert was issued for the suspect vehicle and it was spotted near Anaconda where a pursuit began. Officers deployed spike strips and the sport utility vehicle eventually stopped about 35 miles east of Missoula.
The pursuit finally ended about 30 miles east of Missoula with one of the suspects being shot and his father under arrest.
The passenger got out and shot at officers who returned fire, Gootkin said.
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The name of the deputy killed is not being released at this time.
In Butte-Silver Bow, the suspects allegedly sped through the area at more than 100 miles per hour and damaged police cars. "During this week of remembrance, please do me a favor and smile and wave when you see a peace officer - we could use it!"
Vehicles from other law enforcement agencies were also struck by gunfire, Lester said in a statement.
Lester said the investigation of the slaying and chase is being conducted by the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation and the Missoula County Sheriff's Office. His condition has not been released. He was taken to the hospital.
Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin says a Broadwater County sheriff's deputy was killed near Three Forks.
The suspects came out of their vehicle and started shooting at officers.
The Broadwater County Sheriff's Office has identified the deputy killed as Mason Moore, who had worked at the department for three years.
Lester said at least one of the suspects fired at pursuing officers with at least one semi-automatic rifle.