In a press conference with Chief St. John Monday morning, the Billings Police Chief described the harrowing events that led up to the officer involved shooting Friday night in the 1800 blk of 6th St. West. The suspect is a 22-year-old Billings man who remains in critical but stable condition at a local hospital. His name has not been released because of the ongoing investigation. No arrests have been made. Six-year police veteran Ryland Nelson is the officer who fired one round from his department issued handgun and struck the suspect in the abdomen.
“Our officers were called for a partner family assault. Our goal is to be transparent to the community and give as much information as is legally allowed when such critical incidents happen,’ said Chief St. John. “Officers were responding to a domestic disturbance and while enroute, dispatch notified them that the female victim had gone to the neighbor’s house because her highly intoxicated boyfriend was tearing up the house,” Chief St. John said. “Shortly thereafter, officers heard a single gunshot, and evacuated all residents in the area, and took up positions outside. The suspect then came out of the residence with a 9mm handgun in his waistband and continued to put his hand on the handgun. After repeatedly being asked to drop the handgun, the suspect was not compliant. He made several suicidal comments at the time. He then grabbed the gun and began to pull it from his waistband,” said Chief St. John.
The investigation will be conducted by the BPD detective division, agents from the division of criminal investigation and a parallel investigation will be conducted by the BPD Office of Professional Standards to ensure policies, procedures, and use of force protocols were followed. The case will be sent to the Yellowstone County DA’s Office for any criminal charges. It will also be sent to the Montana Division of Criminal Investigations to be reviewed for thoroughness, completeness, and objectivity.