Evaro, MT – A Montana Highway Patrol trooper has been rushed to the hospital after being shot while searching for a gunman early Friday morning.
The incident began just before 11 p.m. on Thursday, when the Missoula Police Department (MPD) received reports of gunfire at Stone Creek Lodge on Tanager Way and Expressway, KTVQ reported.
Multiple people were reportedly shot at that location, according to reporting party.
When Missoula police arrived at the scene, they found two people suffering from gunshot wounds, MPD spokesperson Sergeant Travis Welsh told KTVQ. A third, uninjured person had placed the 911 call.
The suspect, later identified as Jonathan Bertsch, fled the scene in a Cadillac SUV prior to the officers’ arrival.
Multiple agencies joined the massive manhunt for the gunman.
Less than an hour later, shots rang out on Evaro Hill.
In that altercation, which police said involved the same gunman, a trooper was shot.
Police said that the suspect was armed with a .45-caliber weapon and an AR-15 rifle at that time, according to the Missoulian.
Missoula County Sheriff’s Office MCSO spokeswoman Brenda Bassett refused to comment on the extent of the injuries the trooper and two other victims suffered until their families have been notified, and would not confirm whether or not any of the gunshots were fatal.
Police urged residents to secure their homes and asked them to call 911 immediately if they noticed anything suspicious.
The MCSO confirmed that they apprehended Bertsch in the 16000-block of Thornburg Way at approximately 6:15 a.m., according to a media release.
He was taken into custody without further incident.
“No other suspects are being sought. Residents are welcome to leave [their] homes,” the department said. “The highway will open within the next half hour.”
“Please keep the Montana Highway Patrol Trooper who sustained injures this morning in your thoughts and prayers,” the release said.
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