The Billings Police Department is investigating an officer-involved shooting that happened early the morning of October 9.
The incident, which happened in the span of about 60 seconds, left one officer with minor injuries and the suspect with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.
Just before 3 A.M.Wednesday morning two Billings Police Officers fired multiple rounds on a 30-year-old white male in a stolen truck after he rammed into several police cruisers.
Police Chief Rich St. John shared details at a press conference Wednesday morning.
"Potentially the first time that he runs into an officer possibly trying to get away. The second time though, when he backs into those police cars, my opinion, my opinion only, that was an intentional aggressive act to injure or kill police officers," St. John said.
Officer Tracy Icard and Officer Brett Hilde surrounded the white Ford pickup at a gas station just north of downtown. The driver reversed into Officer Icard’s cruiser and then drove forward into a fence.
Hilde began to approach the truck on foot when Officer Jeremy Boeckel arrived. Boeckel parked his police car behind Hilde’s and exited the cruiser. The suspect reversed again and rammed into Hilde’s car with enough force to deploy the airbags, total the cruiser and push it into Boeckel’s vehicle.
“Both cars were pushed all the way through the lot to a point were Boeckels car was spun 45 degrees and ended up partially on N. 27th,” St. John said.
Officer Icard had moved his car into a blocking position when the suspect accelerated forward again.
“Fearing that Officer Icard would be rammed again and others would be at risk, the officers fired multiple rounds at the drivers side door. The suspect was hit multiple times and stopped accelerating. Still, the momentum carried the truck forward and Icard was hit again,” St. John said.
Officers Hilde and Boeckel will be on administrative leave for at least two weeks according to BPD policy.
Police cannot identify the suspect but said he is a Billings resident and has an extensive criminal record. Chief St. John said the BPD will take its time to investigate and bring charges forward.
Earlier this year the Billings Gazette found that while BPD has jurisdiction over 10 percent of the state’s population it accounts for 33 percent of fatal shootings by officers.