BILLINGS, Mont. – Authorities are investigating whether a man intentionally shot at officers trying to arrest him outside a Montana hospital or whether his gun discharged when he tripped, leading six federal and local officers to open fire and kill him.
The U.S. Marshals Service violent offender task force sought John Barry Marshall, 48, of Billings, for a burglary warrant, Billings Police Chief Rich St. John said. Officers received a tip he was at Billings Clinic on Friday afternoon.
When uniformed officers approached him, Marshall ran, tripped and his gun fired into a hospital window, police said. Officers don't know if Marshall fired the shot on purpose.
A third officer approached Marshall, who was on the ground, and saw he was trying to dislodge a jammed round, St. John said.
Three Billings police officers, two deputy U.S. marshals and a Yellowstone County sheriff's deputy fired multiple shots at Marshall.
Officers Steve Swanson, Ken Tuss and Sgt. Brian Korell were placed on administrative leave, St. John said. Deputy Tom Benjamin also was on leave while the state Division of Criminal Investigation investigates the shooting, Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder said.
The U.S. Marshals Service did not release the names of its deputies, per agency policy, but they are also on leave. The agency did not return a phone call Monday seeking information on the victim's criminal history and the reason for the burglary warrant.