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1 arrested after high speed pursuit in Missoula; shot fired

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Posted at 12:06 PM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-22 10:21:08-04

MISSOULA — A high-speed pursuit through Missoula on Sunday ended with an officer firing his gun and the suspect in jail.

A press release sent by the City of Missoula communications director Ginny Merriam Monday morning to area media detailed the high-speed pursuit.

In the release, Merriam said Missoula police officers were alerted to a reckless driver who was traveling more than 100 mph on Interstate 90 at approximately 11:35 am on Sunday.

The suspect's vehicle, a maroon Toyota truck, struck a motorist who was traveling on the off-ramp.

The suspect continued to drive erratically with numerous people calling 911 to report the reckless behavior.

Missoula police officers located the suspect vehicle at Orange Street and West Broadway and attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the suspect failed to yield.

Officers successfully deployed spike strips at Mount Avenue and Reserve Street, with the suspect's truck stopping at the intersection of South Third Street West and Reserve Street.

In the press release, Merriam reported the suspect was not compliant with officers’ commands, and an officer fired a single shot at the suspect.

Merriam stated the suspect was not struck by the round. He was taken into custody once other officers arrived. No officers or other parties were injured during this incident.

The suspect is identified as Kelwin Laststar, who is currently being held at the Missoula County Detention Facility on the charges of Criminal Endangerment, DUI, Resisting Arrest and Assault on a Peace Officer.

Missoula Police Lt. Eddie McLean tells MTN news the officer involved in the incident has over six years in law enforcement.

McLean said the officer was placed on administrative leave at the discretion of the Chief of Police, which is protocol when outside agencies investigate an officer-involved shooting.

The MPD is investigating Laststar’s actions prior to the shooting.

The Montana Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigations is investigating the shooting.

McLean would not release the officer's name, age, or gender at this time as it's an active investigation by DCI.