Gillette Officers Were Justified In Deadly January Shooting, According To Review

Two police officers were justified in a shooting that left a machete-wielding Gillette man dead last January, according to an independent review.

Jimmy Orr

April 15, 20222 min read

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Two police officers were justified in a shooting that left a Gillette man dead last January, according to review conducted by a prosecuting attorney.

An independent review conducted by Park County and Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Skoric found that Gillette Police Officer Patrick Totzke and Lt. Jason Marcus were justified in shooting Ismael Trinidad Montes who approached the officers while wielding a large machete-style knife.

“After multiple attempts to disarm the suspect with less than lethal force, the suspect charged the officers,” said a release from the City of Gillette. “Both officers discharged their duty weapons, striking the suspect.”

“Lifesaving measures were initiated; Montes was pronounced dead at the scene by EMS,” it said.

Skoric found the officers’ actions “justified,” and no criminal charges will be pursued.

“Any sudden loss of life is a tragedy for our community. Sadly, this is a tragic example of the very serious dangers of illegal drug use,” Police Chief Chuck Deaton said. “We are grateful that our officers were not seriously injured. We are thankful for the dedicated men and women who choose to put their lives on the line every day for the safety of our community.”

The city announced it had released bodycam footage of the incident in Montes’ home because of its commitment to transparency.

Due to the graphic nature of the content, viewer discretion is highly advised, the release warned.

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Jimmy Orr

Executive Editor

A third-generation Wyomingite, Jimmy Orr is the executive editor and co-founder of Cowboy State Daily.