The Billings law enforcement officials confirmed that a 44-year-old suspect was fatally shot by police officers inside a casino. According to the report, the man was wielding a pellet gun and claimed to have taken hostage. The suspect’s identity was later made available.
Man Armed Pellet Gun Told Wife that He Wanted to Rob a Casino
During a recent press conference, Rich St. John, the Billings Chief of Police, declared that the man gunned down inside the Lucky Lil’s casino on Tuesday was known to the authorities. Although his name was not made available at first, several local news outlets revealed that the suspect was called Zachary Hoven.
According to St. John, one day before entering the Montana casino, the suspect visited his wife. Refusing to open the door, Hoven hollered that he’s on his way to robbing a casino and left.
On Tuesday morning, the man entered the Lucky Lil’s casino and threatened to kill everyone. Minutes later, the Billings authorities placed the casino on lockdown. Sergeant Bret Becker and another police officer broke one of the casino’s windows and went inside to subdue the suspect. Both officers were armed with assault-style rifles.
Once inside, Becker ordered Hover to stand down and to drop his weapon. The suspect allegedly told the officer that he had hostages. According to the police report, after Becker warned Hover, the man pulled out a knife and went towards him.
Becker fired several shots towards the suspect. Hover was pronounced dead at the scene. Later that day, the authorities discovered that the suspect was wielding a pellet gun which he did not fire.
Following the suspect’s death, Becker was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal disciplinary investigation. The coroner’s office did not return any calls but declared that toxicological tests were ordered for the suspect.
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