Suspects in murder of Sheriff’s Deputy captured; Townsend mourns

Posted at 5:57 PM, May 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-16 19:57:40-04
  • Broadwater County Sheriff’s Deputy Mason Moore shot and killed
  • Happened near Three Forks, suspects fled westbound on I-90
  • Suspects identified as Marshall Barrus and Lloyd Barrus

The Broadwater County Sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed Tuesday morning has been identified as Mason Moore.

Moore was a husband and father of three children. He was a three-year veteran of the Sheriff’s office.

The two suspects have been identified and are in custody in Missoula County.  

They are Marshall Barrus, 38, of Gallatin County, and Lloyd Barrus, 62, whose last known address is Bakersfield, California. Lloyd is the father of Marshall.

At about 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Deputy Moore called in to dispatch to report that he was conducting a traffic stop near Three Forks. After Deputy Moore failed to respond to dispatch a short time later, a Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy responded to the scene and found that Moore had been shot and killed.

A statewide BOLO alert was issued and Montana Highway Patrol troopers spotted the suspects’ vehicle heading west on I-90 near Anaconda. Spike strips were deployed near Powell County, but were unsuccessful in stopping the vehicle.

Officers from Butte-Silver Bow law enforcement eventually spotted the suspect’s 1998 white Chevrolet Suburban.

Three units from Butte-Silver Bow began chasing the vehicle — at speeds that topped 100 miles per hour — as it was westbound on I-90 at the Continental Drive interchange.

Butte-Silver Bow officers continued to chase the vehicle westbound on I-90 through Deer Lodge County and Powell County and into Granite County.

Eventually, the suspect vehicle’s tires were deflated by a spike strip deployed by the Montana Highway Patrol.  The suspects in the Suburban then began firing at the officers with at least one semi-automatic rifle.  

Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff Ed Lester says that Marshall Barrus was shot in the head, and Lloyd Barrus sustained a gunshot injury to one of his hands after the two began firing at pursuing officers who returned fire.

Two Butte-Silver Bow patrol cars sustained damage from gunfire and were rendered inoperable. A total of five law enforcement vehicles have been impounded to be processed for evidence.

A third Butte-Silver Bow unit along with a unit each from the Montana Highway Patrol, Powell County, Anaconda-Deer Lodge and Granite County continued the pursuit into Missoula County until the suspect vehicle became inoperable. 

The suspect vehicle came to a stop at mile marker 129 on I-90 near the Rock Creek exit, and the suspects began firing at the pursuing officers.  Officers at the scene returned fire.  

Butte Sheriff Ed Lester was clear about his opinion of the men suspected of killing Deputy Moore: “There’s probably a special place in hell for these two individuals and that’s probably where they belong."

He added, “The men and women of the Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement Department extend our sincerest condolences to Sheriff Meehan, the Broadwater County Sheriff’s Department, and the family of the fallen deputy.”

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox released the following message: “My thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones of the officer killed today. It’s cruel irony that a law enforcement officer was shot and killed the day after Peace Officers Memorial Day.Tragic incidents like this should serve as a reminder to all of us to be thankful every day for those in uniform who serve and protect our communities. I thank all of the law enforcement agencies involved for their efforts today, and I ask all Montanans to reach out to the law enforcement officers in their community, thank them for the work they do, and thank them for the sacrifices they make.”


Shooting suspect has criminal history in Gallatin County

Hundreds line streets in Billings to honor Montana deputy killed in line of duty