Stand-off ends in Great Falls, suspect arrested

Posted at 8:18 PM, Apr 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-24 22:18:06-04

(UPDATE, 8:45 p.m.) The suspect in the hours-long stand-off in Great Falls has been arrested.

Authorities said that the suspect – identified as Carmen Gopher – was hiding in the attic of a house on Smelter Avenue Northwest.

After several hours, police used several "flash-bang" devices and a battering ram to get into the house.

Once police got into the residence, they reportedly used a Taser to subdue him.

He was taken out of the house on a stretcher and taken to Benefis hospital.

We do not yet know what sparked the apparent chase that led to the crash and subsequent stand-off, but several people have told us that Gopher was involved in at least one near-crash near downtown Great Falls shortly before the hit and run crash in the Riverview area.

According to state prison records, Gopher has a felony conviction for forgery in Cascade County, and was on conditional release.

Probation & Parole officers assisted in the apprehension of Gopher on Monday.

We will update you as we get more details.

(UPDATE, 7:45 p.m.) Police have used at least three "flash-bang" devices and brought out a battering ram.

(UPDATE, 6:27 p.m.) Police are still engaged in a stand-off with a man involved in a reported hit and run crash in Great Falls.

Several officers with weapons drawn are still surrounding a house on the 100 block of Smelter Avenue NW, which is where they believe the suspect is hiding.

The name of the suspect has not yet been released; authorities have not indicated whether they believe he is armed.

The High-Risk Unit vehicle is also at the scene.

The woman whose vehicle was hit was taken by ambulance to Benefis Health System for treatment of her injuries; the nature and severity of her injuries has not been disclosed.

We have not yet been able to confirm details of the reported hit and run, but Jimmy Phillips posted on the KRTV Facebook page: "I was with the girl until the ambulance took her, I think she will be okay. The police said the guy who hit her was barricaded in a house about a block away."

Kevin Holden posted: "T boned her then she crawled out of the car as it was moving . He whipped around and left scene. He almost hit me in the process!"

In addition to the GFPD, there is also at least one Great Falls Fire Rescue truck and one ambulance at the scene.

We will update you as we get more details.

(UPDATE, 4:57 p.m.) Police have surrounded a house on the 100 block of Smelter Avenue NW, and are searching for the suspect.

Several of the officers have their weapons drawn. We do not know if the suspect is armed.

(1st Report, 4:49 p.m.) Great Falls police are at the scene of a reported crash in Great Falls.

It happened at about 4:15 p.m. along or near Smelter Avenue near Riverview Elementary School.

We have received several reports that it was a hit and run crash, and that the suspect may have ditched his or her vehicle and ran into a nearby house.

Police have blocked off the area and are investigating.

Drivers are advised to avoid the area if possible, or expect delays.

Several people have commented about it on the KRTV Facebook page:

  • Rebecca Morgan: Cops all over Riverview. In front of Riverview elementary school is blocked off.
  • Jamie Mullins: Standoff and a car crashed into a pole by Riverview Elementary

We have a reporter at the scene and will keep you updated.