Subscribe for 17¢ / day
Big Bear

The Big Bear Sports Center in Billings is still closed and boarded up after Frank Half, Jr. broke into the store and was killed by police.

The Montana-based sporting goods store Big Bear Sports has sold its Great Falls location and will close the store in a deal finalized Monday morning.

The future of its Billings store won't be finalized until the company finishes the claim process with its insurance company, said Chuck McKenzie with Big Bear Sports in Great Falls.

"Until we have resolution of our (insurance claim), I can't comment," he said.

He's hopeful it will be completed in the next week. But "pending resolution of our claim," executives with the store won't comment on what the future may hold for Big Bear in Billings. He called reports of the Billings location closing "premature." 

Big Bear Sports Center in Billings has been closed since Nov. 4 when a 10-hour standoff in the store left one man dead and the store and its inventory heavily damaged.

Frank Joey Half Jr., the 30-year-old man killed during an exchange of gunfire with police, is believed to have driven an SUV into the business' storefront at about 3 a.m. on Nov. 4. Half then barricaded himself in the store.

Police tried repeatedly to negotiate with Half throughout the standoff. Half and police exchanged gunfire repeatedly before Half was fatally shot.

At one point BPD SWAT drove an armored truck, called a BEAR, through the front doors of the building in an effort to get a better view inside the building. Damage to the building included a broken water line, which left water inside the store.

According the city administrator's office, Big Bear has yet to file a claim with the city seeking compensation for the damages incurred by Billings Police during the standoff that shut down the store. 

"The city has not received an invoice or claim, and we’re not in the habit of paying people or companies without one," said Bruce McCandless, interim city administrator.


Business Reporter

Business Reporter for the Billings Gazette.