HELENA — Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton on Wednesday released the names of the deputies involved in a fatal shooting late Sunday night.
Deputies Eric Gilbertson, 36; Christopher Weiss, 31; and Anthony Martin, 26, were all involved in the attempt to serve a warrant for a parole violation on Jeffrey John Lefferdink, 32, before it turned deadly.
Gilbertson is a field training officer and Martin was with him at the time of the shooting, Sheriff Leo Dutton said in a statement on Wednesday. Gilbertson has been on full-time service for five years, three months while Martin had only been full time for four months. Weiss was full-time active duty for three years, five months, Dutton said.
"Deputy Martin graduated from the Montana Law Enforcement Academy about one month ago," Dutton said in the statement. "These are good men and were faced with a life-threatening situation, forcing them to act."
Lefferdink died in the shootout, which occurred after a traffic stop near the intersection of North Montana Avenue and Buffalo Road at about 11:35 p.m. Sunday night. The Sheriff's Office had been looking for Lefferdink and deputies were attempting to serve a warrant for parole violation, according Dutton. Lefferdink is listed on the state Department of Justice website as a violent offender. His criminal past included charges of robbery, burglary and issuing a bad check.
On Tuesday, Lewis and Clark County Coroner Mickey Nelson said Lefferdink had three potentially fatal wounds, including one that appeared to be a self-inflicted shot to the head.
The state Division of Criminal Investigation was called in to investigate the shooting. An internal investigation will be conducted as well, Dutton said. In addition, a coroner's inquest will be held regarding the death.
The deputies were not injured in the incident.
"No peace officer ever wants to have this happen to them, but we train constantly to react to violent confrontations," Dutton said. "Please have consideration for all of the affected people during this time."