Missoula shooting

A Missoula police officer shot and killed a suspect early Wednesday morning at an on-off ramp in Missoula.

MISSOULA -- A Missoula police officer shot and killed a man following a 9-1-1 domestic disturbance call and a high-speed chase early Wednesday morning.

Missoula County Sheriff's Public Information Officer Paige Pavalone said the initial call came in shortly after 2 a.m., but the shooting occurred on the on/off ramp connecting West Broadway with North Reserve Street at 3:18 a.m.

According to Pavalone, Missoula city officers responded to a "domestic incident" involving three people at 2 a.m. The incident progressed, with a 20-year-old unidentified male involved in the domestic incident leading police officers on a pursuit through downtown.

Police tried to apprehend the man in front of Safeway on West Broadway, but he fled westbound and led officers on a high-speed pursuit.

He eventually stopped on the ramp connecting West Broadway to North Reserve Street. According to Pavalone, he had a woman with him and "was inflicting lethal force upon her."

At that point, the officer fired and the man died at the scene. Pavalone did not explain exactly how the shooting occurred in a written statement, and has not yet returned calls to the Missoulian asking for additional details.

Authorities have not released the name of the man, but they confirmed he was intoxicated during the incident.

Missoula police spokesman Travis Welsh also confirmed the city officer has been placed on administrative leave, per standard procedure.

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The man's body was lying on the icy ramp, alongside the vehicle, partially covered in a white sheet, from the time of the shooting until about 10:23 a.m. He appeared to be wearing shorts and wasn't wearing shoes.

Pavalone said officers blocked off the area and waited to investigate the scene until daylight. Because it was an officer-involved shooting, a civilian coroner was called from Sanders County to assist with the investigation. She asked that the body not be moved until she arrived.

Sanders County Coroner Kathy Harris arrived on scene shortly after 10 a.m.

Missoula County sheriff's deputies and detectives are conducting the investigation because a city officer shot the man.

The on/off ramp reopened around 11:30 a.m. after a tow truck moved the man's car and the Missoula Fire Department cleared the area.

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