Missoula shooting suspect booked into jail

    Donald Stebbins, 26

    Missoula police arrested and booked a 26-year old man into jail following an early morning exchange of gunfire in northwest Missoula.

    Donald Stebbins, 26, is being held on a charge of assault with a weapon.

    Following the incident, a person called 9-1-1 just before 3:30 Wednesday morning, to say one of the drivers in a collision pulled out a handgun and fired shots in the 900 block of North Orange.

    Officers say Stebbins pulled up next to another vehicle and then pulled out a handgun.

    After that, police say they found the blue Chevy pick-up that matched witnesses’ descriptions, but Stebbins wouldn't stop. Patrol cars chased the pick-up until Stebbins stopped on the west end of Otis Street, where police say he got out of the truck with a gun in his hand.

    As officers tried to arrest Stebbins, they say there was an exchange of gunfire. Then officers say Stebbins dropped his weapon and walked away, ignoring officer’s commands. Police took Stebbins into custody after a brief struggle and say no one was injured.

    The officer involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave, per MPD policy.

    The Montana Departmet of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating the officer-involved shooting, and Missoula PD is investigating the incidents that led up to the shooting.

    Residents who live in an apartment complex on Otis Street still have a lot to process because the whole thing ended just outside their windows early Thursday morning.

    "There were a flurry of lights going on, on the back road here and there were about five or six police cars and a blue truck," described River Rock Apartment resident William Comstock.

    “I looked out (my window) and I saw like four cop cars and I saw a cop with like his gun drawn like yelling and I was like, 'woo boy,'" said resident Valan Anthos. “It was pretty scary but I’m also on the third floor so I’m like, well, they’re not going to come after me.”

    “It woke me up immediately because it was really loud sirens and engines were also quite really loud and I woke up and about 15 to 20 seconds later, I heard three or four gunshots and then I got out of bed and cautiously walked over to the window,” said resident Silas Wilmerding.

    It’s a quite neighborhood on the edge of town. Residents say a body was found nearby in June after a fatal hit and run but other than that, they describe it as a quiet place with a lot of small kids.

    “It could happen anywhere in Missoula. Just the fact that it happened here doesn’t make this a dangerous neighborhood,” said Comstock.

    “I’m from the suburbs in PA and I’m just a little surprised this happened in Missoula. I mean I know things do happen but it was kind of like, It was a weird time,” said Anthos.

    “Quite a new experience for this little community right here,” said Wilmerding.

    Residents said they find comfort knowing the suspect was apprehended and that no one was injured.

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